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Archives: December 2007

Leo Burnett’s Video Game Massacre

Ryan Karrell versus Jamie Perry.
Hey, it’s a really slow day.

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McCann Half Asses Weight Watchers


Although we live in New York City, we have zero intention of slogging through Times Square to see the latest addition to the billboard menagerie. Weight Watchers and Special K are launching electronic billboards tonight in the fight against fat.

The cereal maker is promoting its Special K Challenge, a diet program developed four years ago that includes a range of Special K products. From The New York Times:

“That’s the biggest moment of self-evaluation of the year. We want to be part of the resolution,” said Per Jacobson, a creative director at Leo Burnett in Chicago.

Meanwhile, Weight Watchers is pushing their “Stop Dieting. Start Living” slogan, which is the first effort from their new agency McCann Erickson New York.

Oh yes! Here comes the genius of McCann. Hold your hats kids. Lori Senecal, the head of McCann Erickson New York, said that the Weight Watchers system is “a natural fit for the modern dieter. But, she said, the brand needed some updating.”

True. True. So, whatcha going to do McCann? Oh right! Lean on YouTube and user generated content, but of course! There’s also a MySpace page and YouTube video of old dieting gimmicks. The creativity just runs wild at McCann. Wild we tell you!

“The company will be soliciting user-generated content. Through Jan. 25, people will be able to send stories to the Weight Watchers Web site about the strangest or craziest diets they have tried. Some will be chosen to appear on the billboard in Times Square.”

Joyce King Thomas, chief creative officer of McCann Erickson New York, had a good thought when she said that these outlets could be a modern take on the classic Weight Watchers group meeting. Joyce is great. Like, one of the few things we like about that agency.

However, um… why is it that McCann, again, fails to go the extra mile? Remember the Applebee’s campaign? Another perfect example. It’s like, what – you guys can’t think beyond YouTube?

There are eight million diet based social networking sites out there. Why not tap directly into these established bases?

Or consider that women have long seen their phones as a tool for expression and social communication. Plus, a fairly new Pew research study makes it clear how connected we all our to the darn things. So… why not pull in mobile and really connect users to Weight Watchers (through upbeat messaging about the weight goals, connecting the consumers to one another a la Twitter, etc.).

Ugh. There’s so much more they could be doing, but we’re going to stop here. If you guys have your own feedback, thoughts, ideas, you know the drill – email us at agencyspy at mediabistro dot com or use the anon tip box and we’ll post.

We miss you guys.



Comment #1:

Leo Burnett Chicago has for years bought billboard space to put up ads that their clients wouldn’t pay for, but would let them run. Did this for both the Army account when they had it and for McDonalds. Y&R Chicago also is known for buying space in odd, cheap magazines to run the fake ads they do. Both Burnett and Y&R have won major awards with the fake stuff they’ve done.

Minneapolis’ Musical Chairs


Fallon is moving office spaces. Fallon Minneapolis will return to the AT&T Tower (the shop moved out in 2001) from 50 S. 6th Street. Fallon will occupy about half the space it has been due to layoffs, the spin-off of Duffy Design and defectors. Plus, the reportedly hate the space, as well. Fallon is trying to get itself back into shape after a rough year beginning with the promoted some young talent and the hiring of some others. It’ll be interesting to see whether 2008 is their year.

Meanwhile, The Star Tribune is reporting that Deloitte and Touche will move 900 employees into Fallon’s vacated space.

Monday News


- Small shops team up to try and take on the death stars, win business, share data. READ MORE HERE

- Ad legend Phil Dusenberry, the former chairman and chief creative officer of Omnicom Group’s BBDO North America, died at 71. READ MORE HERE

- Get a full list of brand stewards who have passed on in 2007. READ MORE HERE

- There were a record number of data breaches and privacy slip-ups in 2007. The future is all about privacy. READ MORE HERE

- Netscape becomes a tragedy of the search engine wars. All hail Google. READ MORE HERE

You Know You’re A Thorn In The Industry’s Side When…


On Fri, 28 Dec 2007 9:16 pm, Anonymous Tips wrote:

“Do you work at an agency? In what capacity? If we knew, your comments about the business, beyond the original gossip would be a lot more relevant. Feliz Natividad.”

Nanny-nanny-poo-poo! We aren’t telling! Ever!

Whether we are Mike Byrne or a junior copywriter, shouldn’t make a difference to you. The relevance of commentary, its value should be based on the strength of the argument, not a title. Agree or disagree we don’t care, but keep your ears open! If you need a business card to consider an idea, a concept, an argument, then you should get out of this business. You, yes you, are what’s keepin’ the biz down.

God help who wrote this comment. We pray for you and the agency you work for.


Ps. Send us your comments via the tip box or email as usual.



Comment #1:

“That’s funny – they probably work at Grey or some lameass place where titles are what they have in lieu of ideas. That said, of course everyone would be curious. We know you’re in NY and my money is that you’re a woman. I think you work at a big agency but other than that, I’m drawing a blank. But I read you every day and I don’t care if I’m right or wrong!”

Comment #2:

You’re not a thorn Angela People wonder whether you work at an agency or if you’re just a reporter for MediaPost. Even people at good agencies.

Comment #3: FROM AS:

Um, who the hell is Angela?

Leo Burnett Brings Duran Duran In-House

We so heart Duran Duran! “Her name is Rio and she dances in the sand…” That song plays through our ten year old memories or, more like seven year old memories.

Turns out the band hung out at the Leo Burnett office recently. See, that’s what is so good about working at an ad agency. Frequently, someone will come by the office and entertain you. For no apparent reason. Well, that and those trips to the production house where they have all those crazy snacks and couches and stuff.

TGIF. Like Really.


Crap. It’s another “holiday work day” and that means that other than Paris Hilton losing all her cash, Egypt is set to copyright its antiquities and Bhutto’s burial, there ain’t much going on. Oh! DRM is finally going the way of the fishes. Saynora sucker!

We’re glad so many of you are hanging out in the office. Hit us up on AIM [agencyspy]. We’re bored. Aren’t you?

No Wukkas: The Job Hunt

If you’re confused, get the definition of NO WUKKAS here.


1. Digitas – Production Manager, Boston MA

Okay, the Digitas job information page for this position is ridiculous. This is a prime example of what ails advertising agencies. Really… all this whoo-hoo and silly language. They’ve got five headers of qualifications.

a. Portfolio – 6 bullet points – Example: “Your portfolio contains a summary of any written feedback that you have received since your last review.”

b. Tactical – 10 bullet points – Example: “You understand paper and printing characteristics; and postal, print, letter shop regulations.”

c. Process – 2 bullet points – Example: “You are learning to provide additional value to print production and letter shop management.”

d. Relationships – 3 bullet points – Example: “You are seen as a valued member of the team; your input is highly regarded by art directors, etc.”

e. Intellectual Capital – 2 bullet points – Example: “If you have been identified as an expert in a skill that is important to the success of all at Digitas, you are actively working on intellectual capital that will allow you to pass that skill on to others.”

We’re tired already. If you still want it (hey, could be a resume builder), go apply here.

2. Google – Media Planner, Chicago, Illinois

“As a Media Planner, you’ll develop a deep understanding of the needs and mindset of advertisers and agencies in order to develop compelling media plans, advertising programs and sales materials. You’ll play a proactive role in identifying new Sales programs and advertising product opportunities to provide the Google Sales force with a robust set of offerings and also drive revenue. More specifically, you’ll develop media plans based on audience demographics and psychographics that cross-sell and bundle YouTube, the Content Network and other Google media products. This will require you to serve as a liaison with the YouTube product team in the conception and creation of new products and sponsorship opportunities, which includes developing points of view to help shape the new offerings and maximize revenue.”

For more information, see here.

3. Leo Burnett – Account Director, Chicago, Illinois

Demonstrates foresight to effectively anticipate threats to and opportunities in the client’s business. Works with client to define marketing objectives and creates a strategic plan using holistic communications to achieve those objectives. Develops ideas that drive topline growth and competitive advantage for the client and the agency. Builds trust and acts as an advisor for internal and external clients.

Get more info here.

What Do You Think Of Droga5?

Have you seen these ads from Droga5 for cell phone carrier Net10? What do you think? Either email your comment [agencyspy at mediabistro dot come] or use the anon tip box. We’ll post them for you.

Comment #1:

Love those Net10 Ads. But then again, I never grew out of cartoons.Wish they actually made them into action figures. I fancy a shark for my desk.

Comment #2:

Love the Droga5 commericals! But like the other persn who commented, I have a Tony Millionaire Drinky Crow sitting on my desk, and a boyfriend who collects action figures. Oh, and I watch the Adult Swim shows. So, yeah I am the demographic I guess. However, I just renewed with “the new AT&T” so I won’t be buying what they are selling, my cancellation fee is $250.

A Note From 200: Bill France Is Legend


The New York Times has released their notable obituary list for 2007. Included are: Anna Nicole Smith, Arthur Schlesinger, Michelangelo Antonioni, Madeleine L’Engle, Oscar Peterson, Norman Mailer, and Kurt Vonnegut.

Also included is Bill France, Jr. aka the man who made NASCAR a house hold name. France’s father actually created the sport, but it was Bill, Jr. who made it great. Robert Lipsyte wrote in The Times in 2001 that the France’s built

“an enormously successful family entertainment that combines easily understood technology, appealing characters, theme-park ambience, endless collectibles and nostalgia with enough violence to make it true reality programming.”

The marketing genius that took NASCAR from backyard sport in the late 50s to billion dollar business in 2000s cannot be denied. That’s Bill above, center, surrounded by Dale Earnhardt and his son. During his reign, Nascar signed a 2.4 billion dollar contract with the major networks, which ten percent of rights fee going straight to Nascar. He rejiggered the sport with better tracks and cars hitting speeds exceeding 200 miles an hour. Merchandise sales reached $2 billion a year. In 2004, Nextel became the title sponsor of the series in a 10-year deal worth about $750 million. There’s more, but you get the idea.

NASCAR has managed to become synonymous with America. That’s no easy feat. Many props to France. R.I.P