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WPP

WPP: ‘U.S., U.K. Advertising Is Still in Strong Demand.’

sir-martin-sorrellSir Martin Sorrell is back (like he ever left) and still smirking like the Grinch after a Christmas rummage sale.

According to a release published in the Wall Street JournalWPP reported “strong demand for advertising in the U.S. and U.K. in the first five months of the year”, though “sales growth was held back by the strength of the U.K. pound.”

So the pound was just too strong for its own good. An interesting side note: Ad sales in the U.K. did outpace U.S. totals, with numbers rising 7% and 4.6% respectively. As Marty put it:

“All in all, 2014 looks likely to be another demanding year, as a strong United Kingdom pound and weak faster growth market currencies continue to take their toll on our reported results, but if budgets and quarter one revised forecasts are met, 2014 will be another strong year.”

While the release is ostensibly a financial report, we read it as another step in Sorrell’s quest to crown himself King of All Industry Thought Leaders.

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STUDY: Social Media Advertising Doesn’t Work So Well

wtf

Yesterday, we brought you the story of a well-off British gent discussing how WPP’s GroupM will double its Twitter advertising budget to $100 million for 2014.

Today in what may seem like an attempt to show him up, Gallup released its latest study into the wild. It tells the world something the rest of us have known for years: Social media advertising is as good as flushing $100 bills down the toilet.

Here’s why those Benjamins are swirling down the drain.

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WPP Will Double Its Spending Budget on Twitter in 2014

twitter-wpp

In another headline from Cannes-Lions, WPP Grand Poobah Sir Martin Sorrell told the world that he will double ad spending on “The Twitter” (as he may have called it) from $50 million to $100 million.

The news was announced when Sorrell moderated a discussion between Twitter’s Dick Costolo and Viacom’s Philippe Dauman. Of course he took a jab at rivals Omnicom and Publicis for their recent ill-fated “merger of equals,” but he focused mainly on the differences and commonalities between digital-first and the legacy media giants.

After citing the impressive market valuations and financial stats associated with Twitter’s recent IPO, Sorrell noted that WPP’s GroupM will double its spending with the microblogging platform, boosting its ad spending from $50 million last year to $100 million this year. Based on Sorrell’s figures, that means GroupM contributes nearly a fifth of all of Twitter’s advertising revenues.

Now what would you do with that kind of budget? Maybe not spend it all on Twitter?

WPP’s TAXI Begins Brewing New Relationship with Maxwell House

old maxwell house adThe year was 2010 when WPP rolled out the red carpet and doled out the cash for yet another advertising agency — TAXI.

The Toronto-based shop was bought to stand alone within the group and grow its own offices rather than merging with other units, according to Y&R Brands CEO Peter Stringham.

Apparently that was a good strategy: TAXI just wrangled itself a strong cup of the Kraft Foods empire with Maxwell House. Previously, the account was with W+K Portland.

The change comes only a couple of months after the coffee brand launched a new campaign called “Say Good Morning to a Good Day“; mcgarrybowen ran the account prior to W+K.

Seems that “the last drop” arrives more quickly each year. Stay tuned.

AdPeople Worldwide Signs Former GSD&M GCD to Lead North American Creative

Steve MillerSteve Miller, former group creative director at Austin’s GSD&M, will now be North American ECD for WPP “network agency” AdPeople Worldwide, handling creative solutions for clients like Dell.

Miller worked with some of GSD&M’s biggest clients (BMW, AT&T, etc.) during his ten years there; he most recently led the creative team at health-care focused agency HCB Health. While Miller will stay in Texas for his new position, he hasn’t always been based in Austin. Before moving south, he spent several years with JWT San Francisco on the Sprint account, so he’s not a new face at the WPP table.

According to the release, Miller is digital to the core: his interest in apps and such led him to create his own agency Super Deluxe, which focuses not on creating apps but providing “branded mobile experiences” to clients.

As ECD, Miller will report to AdPeople’s North American MD Simon Hjorth. The move is a return of sorts; as Miller writes:

“I’m looking forward to getting back to the type of dynamic agency environment I enjoy, serving multiple industries and a variety of clients.”

It’s a Four-Shop Race to Fill Honda’s Digital Needs

civic

American Honda Motor Company works hard to keep up with the competition but hasn’t been quite so successful in the hybrid space. Honda’s Prius equivalent may have been called The Insight, but the company recently pitted all three major holding companies against one another in the search for a bit more of that key noun.

Other campaigns have gone viral (shout out to Michael Bolton) and, according to AdWeek, Honda spends approximately $50 million on digital advertising each year.

Now who’s competing for that money?

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Brand Union Names John Shaw to ‘Worldwide Head of Strategy and Planning’ Position

John Shaw

WPP‘s Brand Union has created a new position for agency vet/former Team Red CSO John Shaw.

The new, London-based “Worldwide Head of Strategy and Planning” role will see Shaw reporting directly to Brand Union worldwide CEO Simon Bolton as well as Catherine Gale, chief of the agency’s UK and Ireland operations.

Details in the release are sparse, but Shaw’s career is anything but: prior to Team Red, he served as regional director at Ogilvy Asia Pacific and planning director at W+K, working on the Coca-Cola, Nike and Microsoft accounts.

His resume also includes roles at A.C. Neiman, J Walter Thompson, Wunderman/Y&R and Mars.

This development appears to have been a long time coming. Shaw writes:

“Brand Union’s vision for building a connected and powerful brand experience appeals to me. Simon and I have talked over the years about working together… I’m looking forward to helping develop the worldwide strategic approach.”

Burger King to America: ‘Why Just Have It Your Way?’

have it your wayEarlier this year, the home of the Whopper slapped the advertising world with one of its own by parting ways with lead agency Mother. It was a public divorce attributed to the all-too-familiar “creative differences.”

Now something else is grilling: Burger King just announced that it has found a new home for its 40-year-slogan in the tagline cemetery. The new line is “Be your way,” because nothing could be more personal than ordering a No. 2 with a large carbonated beverage.

Witness the strategery in action after the jump.

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WPP’s Maxus Appoints New North American CEO

Steve WPPThis morning in news that has nothing to do with the Omnicom/Publicis collapse, WPP/GroupM media agency Maxus poached a top executive from Omnicom’s PHD.

Steve Williams, who spent two years as president at PHD, will be Maxus’ new North American CEO starting June 1, replacing the retiring Louis Jones; Williams will report to global CEO Vikram Sakhuja as well as GroupM’s North American chief Kelly Clark.

In the new role, Williams will work with the New York, L.A., Chicago, Minneapolis and Toronto offices of what the press release and RECMA call “the fastest growing global media agency for the past four years.”

Before joining PHD, Williams served as CEO of the UK’s OMD Group.

No word on how much pleasure Martin Sorrell took in making this announcement.

Publicis/Omnicom: An Autopsy

publicis-omicron

The world’s largest mega-merger is over before it began–and on the morning after the big breakdown, we have a fairly clear sense of the factors that doomed this would-be deal.

The Wall Street Journal broke the news last night with a joint statement from Messrs. Levy and Wren, who called the uncoupling conscious:

“The challenges that still remained to be overcome, in addition to the slow pace of progress, created a level of uncertainty detrimental to the interests of both groups.”

Their stories quickly and predictably diverged, however.

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