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We Hear…

We Hear: BBDO Wins Viagra? (Updated: Yes, Now with Statement)

It looks like we’re in the same boat as Adweek on this one as BBDO has declined to comment and has referred all inquiries to Pfizer, which of course has yet to respond. But from what the tipsters have been telling for the last hour or so, the agency has nabbed the Viagra account from McGarryBowen, which has handled ad duties for Pfizer’s erectile dysfunction drug since the fall of 2009. We’re following up once again with Pfizer and will let you know, but if it’s all legit, this would be BBDO’s third account win in a month following Emirates and the ING New York City Marathon. Perhaps the Gillette loss is quickly becoming a distant memory after all.

Update: By now, you’re probably all well aware of the BBDO/Viagra partnership, and though it took a while, Pfizer has sent over this statement regarding its agency move:

“In Pfizer’s ongoing effort to seek improved operating effectiveness and efficiency, we investigated strategies to consolidate our Marketing Agency supply base across the product portfolio.  After an objective and thorough assessment of operating models and supplier capability, Pfizer consolidated our brand marketing agency activity into three global holding companies: WPP, Omnicom, and Publicis.

mcgarrybowen (MB) has been an exceptional agency partner and has helped us generate substantial awareness of Viagra and executed high-quality programs on behalf of the brand.  The decision to end our relationship with MB was only due to the Pfizer enterprise-wide agency consolidation. MB will remain on the business until the end of 2013. We value their creativity and partnership greatly.”

Hmm, So is Minneapolis Shop Atomic Still Open?

Voicemails and emails have all gone unanswered thus far, but from what folks on the Spy line are telling us, Minneapolis-based digital agency Atomic, formerly known as Atomic Playpen, has shuttered operations as of last Friday afternoon. We received a few tips about this including this one at the end of the day Friday: “…Minneapolis-based Atomic closed its doors at noon today and all employees were told they are out of jobs.” Yikes. If you were affected or know anything more, feel free to hit us up in tips.

Anyhow, last we recall, Atomic, when it still had the Playpen name intact, went through a little bit of a leadership shift last fall when co-founder Troy Venjohn bought out president/business partner Michael Kretsinger. The latter was eventually replaced by JWT Minneapolis (now Digitaria) alum Lydell Capritta at Atomic, which has worked with clients including Jack Link’s Beef Jerky and Xcel Energy.

 

We Hear: R/GA Portland Open for Business?

But why are they keeping it hush-hush if so? We called the agency for the digital age’s NYC hub and the person we spoke to didn’t have a contact number for the office and said she “didn’t think so” when asked if R/GA Portland had opened its doors. Hmm, well, for the last few days, we’ve been getting tips like this: “rga portland open for bizness. snatched up best creative from chicago office.” OK, perhaps the grammar doesn’t lend to its legitimacy, but the agency, which just took over for Razorfish on Samsung’s U.S. digital account, is officially hiring in the PDX and has been as far back as January.

Normally, R/GA’s PR folks are happy to send us announces boasting new office openings, which have happened quite often over the last year alone, but now they’ve been unusually unresponsive. Who knows, perhaps they’re formalizing things including staff and even the press release, but whatever the case, the office in Portlandia would be the 13th in the network. If anyone has a contact or knows who the R/GA Chicago creative is who headed to the Northwest, give us a shout in the tips box or at agencyspy at gmail dot com.

We Hear: Perez Out at Tribal Toronto?

Well, we’re awaiting some official confirmation on this, but we’ve received a few tips since over the last couple of hours that Tommy Perez, who just joined Tribal DDB Toronto as a creative director two-and-a-half months ago, has already parted ways with the agency. A couple of calls to the agency thus far this afternoon have been directed elsewhere. Perez was hired as a CD at Tribal up north after serving in the same role for 18 months at Cali-based shop, Juxt Interactive, where he worked with clients ranging from Cisco to Toyota to Stanley Black & Decker. During his career, Perez has also held creative roles at the likes of BBDO, Grupo Gallegos and Lopez Negrete. We’ll keep you posted on his status as soon as we hear more.

We Hear: Cereda Lands at MTV Scratch? (Update: Yes)

We’re still awaiting some confirmation/clarification from the MTV camp on this, but we’ve received word from a few sources that Chris Cereda, who’s seemingly disappeared into the ether since we reported on his departure from Translation earlier this year, has landed a job with MTV Scratch. In case you didn’t know, Scratch is a unit launched by the Viacom-owned stalwart that aims to connect millienials and brand partners (including Microsoft/Bing/Xbox and Warner Bros. among others) and lead creative across MTV Networks via original content, design and product development among other things. Here’s an FAQ that should help explain things a bit more.

Anyhow, as you may know, prior to his yearlong stint at CCO at Translation, Cereda served as ECD at KBS+ and worked on MasterCard among other accounts while at McCann during his career. We’re checking on all fronts with this latest matter, but apparently, MTV’s made Cereda’s arrival official, just not public. We’ll keep you posted.

Update: The Viacom camp has confirmed that Cereda has started as a creative director at what is now known as Scratch, Viacom Media Networks.

Brown Out at Team Detroit?

Well, we’ve received a few tips about this over the last two days and a call to the agency came back with a reply that he wasn’t listed in the director. So, we can only draw our own conclusions for the time being on the status of Kevin Brown. Oh yeah, if you didn’t know, Brown has worked for 14 years at WPP-owned Mindshare/Team Detroit and most recently served as managing director for its media buying efforts, which called for him to oversee media efforts for clients including of course its most notable one, Ford.

We’ve yet to hear back from Team Detroit on Brown (surprise), but seemingly upset tipsters are telling us that he was “responsible for buying billion plus in media” (apparently about $1.5 billion annually) and that the exec was not the only one cut by the agency on the Ford media end. As we always say and try to do, we’ll let you know if and when we hear more on the matter.

We Hear: Shelhamer Leaving Saatchi X?

Well, who knows where our relationship with Saatchi & Saatchi X fell apart as we went from being an industry mate to a Siberian exile in a matter of months. Whatever, rather than going all Blue Valentine on you, we’re just going first instinct on this one. According to multiple sources, Saatchi’s shopper marketing agency division is losing its Chicago SVP of business development/managing director Kevin Shelhamer, who we hear is leaving X for a gig at Ogilvy. When we inquired, we were met with the usual “he’s in a meeting” and the comms side, as mentioned, has been giving us the unusually cold shoulder thus far. Ogilvy has yet to respond to the matter as well.

Shelhamer has had two stints at Saatchi & Saatchi X, first joining 10 years ago to serve as SVP, client development and in his next turn, he assumed the role three years ago as SVP/MD of its Chicago branch.

We Hear: TBWA\Media Arts Lab Welcomes B-Reel CDs to the Fold

We’ve been getting a few tips on the Spy line that Ricardo Viramontes and Hector Muelas, who have each spent nearly a year as creative directors at B-Reel, have been lured away by TBWA\Media Arts Lab to, you guessed it, work on Apple. Since\MAL is like Area 51 considering its Apple tie-in, TBWA would not comment on the hirings, but prior to their work at B-Reel, Viramontes served as an art director for four-plus years at W+K New York on accounts including Jordan Brand and has also worked at the likes of CAA (you surely remember this) and BSSP.

Muelas, meanwhile, also worked at CAA on the same campaign among other things as well as W+K Amsterdam on accounts including Nike and Coca-Cola. We’ll let you know if and when Tim Cook & Co. or those on the agency level remove the leash and reveals more specifics.

We Hear: Livingston Heading to McGarryBowen?

Yes, that’s the word on the street/tips line. For the last week, we’ve been hearing that Doug Livingston, who we reported was leaving his post as EVP/director of digital integration, is joining up with McGarryBowen. Now, spies on the ground tell us that it is indeed so, though no title/start date has been disclosed as the usually responsive, Dentsu-owned agency is being unusually quiet about this particular matter. We’re trying to light a fire, but we’ll keep you posted. As mentioned previously, Livingston spent six years in all at Grey and oversaw digital biz dev, recruitment and client assignments while at said agency.

We Hear: Lyons Joining Farrell at Havas?

Well, since our inquiries last week to Havas regarding Vin Farrell went nowhere because Adweek apparently had some exclusive/vice grip on the agency’s comms, let’s just go “we hear” on this one before another “exclusive” pops up. Along with said agency’s new global chief content officer, we’ve been hearing all week that fellow R/GA-er Sean Lyons is following suit and joining up with Havas. Lyons has spent well over eight years at the agency for the digital age and for the last year has served as SVP, operations and business planning.

During his lengthy stay at R/GA, Lyons has moved up the ladder from group director to managing director to his current SVP post. We’ve checked in with both camps about the apparent move, but have yet to hear back. Maybe it was something we said, but we’ll let you know if we hear more.

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