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We Hear…

UPDATE: Leo Burnett Pitches Miller Lite

MillerLite_PunchTopCan_Pouring

This morning we received several tips claiming that the Miller Lite account now belongs to Leo Burnett Chicago.

We initially found the claim somewhat surprising given that the company only announced its creative review (with subsequent AdAge coverage) in mid-August; we have received no confirmation from agency or client.

However, a quick hashtag search reveals that many of Leo Burnett’s employees spent the long weekend doubling down on the pitch.

UPDATE: our first guess was accurate; the review is just beginning and the hashtag appears to be part of an effort to pitch more aggressively.

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We Hear: Ogilvy Wins Coke Zero

Coke-Zero-All-Sports-by-Psyop-2

While we’ve yet to receive official word from contacts, we hear from several different tipsters that the Coke Zero account for both global and North American work now belongs to Ogilvy.

Droga5 won the North American business from CP+B back in 2012, and we hear that the agency competed with Wieden and Ogilvy for the account.

If true, this news would make sense: Ogilvy won global work from Coke Zero in 2010 and its Paris office has produced creative for the company. Ogilvy New York, meanwhile, also continues to produce work for the larger Coca-Cola brand, most recently releasing an innovative print campaign.

Updates as we receive them.

We Hear: Infiniti No Longer with TBWA

*EMBARGOED* 2014 Infinti Q50

To follow up on a story Adweek posted a whole three weeks ago (we know, we know), we did receive word today that TBWA\Chiat Day will officially no longer serve as the AOR for Infiniti after more than fifteen years.

In late June we heard that a total of seven agencies were chasing the account, and two weeks later sources told Adweek that CP+B, BBH, GS&P and Anomaly were the only ones left standing.

On an interesting side note, General Motors poached Infiniti CEO Johan de Nysschen earlier this month in the middle of the review–a move that certainly disrupted the process a bit.

In other words, expect news on which agency won the business to arrive shortly.

UPDATE: The pitch is ongoing and TBWA will continue working with Infiniti through the end of this year.

We Hear: W+K Signs S7 Airlines

S7-library

While the agency’s official comment is “no comment”, an anonymous tipster can confirm today that Wieden+Kennedy‘s newest client is S7, formerly known as Siberia Airlines.

Never heard of it? It’s the largest domestic airline in Russia, or the equivalent of our own Southwest to Aeroflot’s United.

We’re told that the company, which previously stuck with Russia-based agencies like Leo Burnett Moscow for its advertising needs (a Burnett campaign won two awards at Cannes this year), wanted to expand and go with an overseas shop in order to win greater market share as more and more Russians travel for both business and pleasure.

W+K–which also serves as AOR for Delta–beat three other agencies on the pitch.

Some odd S7 ads after the jump.

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We Hear: Changes Pending at Moxie

moxie

This week we’ve received several tips regarding the Atlanta homebase of Moxie Interactive. We have no confirmation from the agency itself, but we can summarize the claims:

One tipster writes that the agency is preparing for a large-scale reorganization that may lead to layoffs focusing on the accounts side.

Another tipster tells us that these changes, driven by leaders of both the Atlanta and New York offices, were “shopped” to marquee client Verizon Wireless as a sort of strategic preview–and that the client then leaked the plans to staff.

That tipster calls the move “the worst-kept secret in Atlanta” (other than the fact that the Braves always choke in the post-season), writing that someone somewhere has seen “the plan” and that cuts, if they do occur, will be at the management level.

Whether these rumors turn out to be true or not, there have been changes at Moxie in recent months. You may recall that the agency merged with fellow Publicis shop Engauge back in March and that two ACDs made headlines (on this blog at least) in June by leaving to join 22squared.

Updates as they arrive.

EP Travis Quinn Out at BBH New York

Screen Shot 2014-07-29 at 10.17.27 AM

Some news out of BBH today on the production side: we hear that Travis Quinn, Executive Art Producer and longtime staffer, is leaving the agency.

Quinn has run art production at the agency for several years, managing shoots for clients like Playstation, Axe, and Cole Haan.  His departure follows the arrival of Carey Head, who was hired away from Barton F. Graf  9000 to oversee production in May. BBH also recently made more changes to its production department by promoting Executive Producer Kate Morrison to Head of Content Production. It seems the agency is following the lead of departments across the globe by ramping up its integrated offerings on the production front.

No official word on where he or his colorful pants are  headed or whether BBH’s New York office has plans to replace him. Quinn finishes his tour of duty at the end of this month.

Updates as we receive them.

Staffing Changes at R/GA New York

RGA

When we last heard from R/GA New York, the agency announced the hiring of ECD Mike Rigby, formerly with Interbrand Australia, to help advise clients on brand strategy.

Today brings word of more changes at the New York office (which will soon begin its transition from an agency headquarters to a fancy hotel): an unknown number of staffers are now unemployed. Here’s the agency’s official statement:

“As with any agency of our size, there are always staff changes occurring. However, we are not currently nor do we plan on executing any large scale layoffs at R/GA.”

We can confirm that Nick Katsivelos, managing director of technology and strategy, resigned to take a position at digital business platform Apigee. CTO John Mayo-Smith resigned to join an unnamed non-profit.

We can provide one important detail: the pink slip party will go down at The Frying Pan on West 26th Street and the Hudson River at 6 PM tonight.

Like Apple Technology, TBWA May Be Updated Very Soon

Your Verse

For more than 30 years, TBWA/Media Arts Lab has enjoyed one of the most prized advertising accounts on the planet. After reports from the New York Post et al. and that entity called “Madison Avenue”agencies are salivating for a bite of the Apple.

The dirty laundry aired in the form of internal emails during the Samsung trial in April and the subsequent reports that Apple would create more of its own ads in-house may have had something to do with this latest development.

Moreover, word is that whichever outside firm may eventually work on the account will also answer to Jimmy Iovine, president and grand poobah of Beats headphones, BeatsMusic and all other things By Dre that were recently acquired by Apple.

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Staffing Changes at BBDO Atlanta

BBDOATL

Today we confirmed that BBDO is in the process of enacting staffing changes in its Atlanta office. An unspecified number of employees are no longer with the agency as of this afternoon.

Specifics are very light, though we hear that hirings may follow these dismissals and that the purpose of the larger reconfiguration, which involves personnel changes across departments, is to better align the agency’s offerings with the needs of its current and future clients.

Tips mention both digital creatives and senior staffers, so this looks to be part of an office-wide strategic shift.

For context, the most visible recent move at the Atlanta office was the departure of President/CEO Gill Duff and subsequent appointment of Drew Panayiotou to replace him. The move was significant in that Panayiotou was then new to the agency game, having previously served as SVP of US marketing at Best Buy after running in-house marketing and media buying teams at  Walt Disney, Coca-Cola and others.

Updates as we receive them.

UPDATE: Layoffs at Razorfish North America

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The tips have been pouring in this week, and they all tell of staffing changes at Razorfish North America.

Several tips claim that 20 to 25 staffers have been dismissed from the agency’s Chicago office alone.

Others report layoffs at the agency’s Atlanta and West Coast offices, listing the total of North American employees dismissed at 100.

On the plus side: one tipster claims that, while confirming the downsizing, the agency’s CEO also announced that employees will receive merit-based pay increases on August 1st.

UPDATED: This morning the agency released a statement:

“Like most companies, flexes in business require us to realign in order to accommodate the evolving needs of our clients. The recent workforce reduction represents less than 3% of our global headcount. We remain committed to sourcing world-class talent and further strengthening our capabilities to deliver business transformation. Our immediate focus is ensuring we continue to provide the best services possible to our existing clients and new accounts such as Peet’s Coffee & Tea and Car2Go.”

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