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Archives: April 2008

WPP is going a bit green…

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WPP is considering moving their operations from London to Ireland — all in the name of tax breaks.


Joining other companies like Compaq, Dell, IBM, Oracle, Intel, Microsoft and a large number of banking and commercial organizations — all who have their European headquarters in Dublin or around Ireland — Martin Sorrell (the “poisoned dwarf” to the readers of GP) is looking to slash tax costs.

WPP currently pays more than $400 million USD (£200m) a year to the government in tax. Apparently, businesses registered in Ireland only pay 12.5 per cent corporation tax, compared to 28 per cent in the UK.

Shh…. Rumors From The 4A Leadership Conference

1. Nancy Hill, the new head honcho over at the 4As, said that tomorrow morning she will announce new initiatives aimed at recruiting and retaining minorities into the ad business.

Um, does that mean that she has single handedly solved institutionalized racism? The lady is genius, I tell you. Nah, no. I’m actually excited to see if she cook up a plan that is going to make a difference. A real one.

2. The other drop at the 4As conference today was that Ogilvy will soon announce a new collaboration between Group M and Ogilvy in branded entertainment.

Group M so needs to be watched considering that Irwin Gottlieb is just running that shit like Meyer Lansky (pictured above); running media buying, sorry… trading like its the goddamn Commission.
It’s almost sexy the way Group M and the agency’s who chase after them are forcing media buying to play a new game. General market agencies would do well to learn some moves, catch a little heat by learning from these “trading agencies” how to push innovation, while telling clients exactly how it’s gonna be.

OMD has a new US Chief


No — not that OMD — the other one.

OMD, the Omnicom media company — and been without a US Chief Executive since Joe Uva bailed out last year to become CEO at Univision, has finally found a replacement.

The “winner” — Alan Cohen, who used to work at IPG, will become the Chief Executive of the US. Cohen will report to North American chief executive Page Thompson. The agency is still without a worldwide chief executive though — and is still looking to fill that gig with a warm body.

Daryl Simm, head of Omnicom Media Group has been running OMD on a global basis on an interim basis.

Cohen’s appointment follows a number of changes at the media agency including the appointment of John Raj from Visa to head up the agency’s digital operations and Scott Hagedorn who was appointed as the agency’s East Coast boss recently.

Cohen, who is currently president of Initiative’s western region, has previously held positions at ABC, NBC and 20th Century Fox.

Last week, Omnicom Group, which also owns BBDO Worldwide, DDB Worldwide and PHD, posted a 14 per cent lift in net income to $208.7 million (£104.8m) year-on-year.

Ha! Ha! Universal McCann Loses Intel

As you well know, Universal McCann has lost the mega-Intel account and not a moment to soon if you ask us. Why they McCann Erickson didn’t lose creative, too? They should have. Come on.. you MUST recall this little print debacle above, right? If not, go here.

I readily admit McCann is one of my least favorite agencies, like ever for their ability to squander amazing talent and play a game of follow the leader with Grey. Seriously… I think they want to be Grey. That’s their aspiration. Sick, sick.

The $300 million dollar advertising and marketing account for Intel will go to OMD from here on out. Mr. Cantankerous, George Parker, said: “IPG will be sans Intel long before the year is out.”

We well fucking hope so. Pardon the french.

One Hand Bites The Other: American Apparel


American Apparel recently placed an order for 30,000 pounds of organically farmed, less-polluting cotton from California. The purchase was made in partnership with the Sustainable Cotton Project’s Cleaner Cotton campaign. Bully to American Apparel.

Meanwhile, Copyranter (yes, he’s still in business) pointed out this new “spread” for the company and asks the much needed question:

“Why don’t you just start an off-shoot amateur porn Website already?”

Totes. If CEO Dov Charney wants to go there, just do it. Don’t pussy foot around with this kind of BS.

Seriously, how can anyone focus on the sustainability efforts of the brand when the T&A is raising such nose that all else is obliterated?
And yeah, maybe Dov doesn’t give a crap whether anyone knows that the company is still sweatshop free and dealing in real environmental changes? He obviously doesn’t give two little poops about all the folks (both vagina and penis based) with his ad campaigns. Hell, his first quarter sales were pretty darn good. Damn those female chauvinist pigs!

More: – Jezebel’s open letter to an AA model

- American Apparel’s actual business practices are under attack by the WSJ and others. Check the comments for the company’s response.

Advice For Cannes

Craig Davis, Chief Creative Officer, Worldwide, JWT, is trying to sell you on Cannes and offers wisdom on how to deal the show’s intense experience. The little promotional video comes with a little joke at the end that we could have done without, but whatever. Craig’s advice includes:

“If you see an idea and its envy that you feel, then it should be bronze. Jealously is silver. If you see something and it’s humility that you are feeling, it deserves to be a gold.”

TV news – fucked or completely fucked?

TV news is a quaint “long past due” tradition — like dinosaurs, dodo birds, overtly child-friendly Catholic priests, proud George W. Bush-supporting Republicans, fans of “Lost”, etc.


Seems TV news departments are getting their asses handed to them by both viewers and advertisers — The big three TV network newscasts lost about 1.2 million viewers last year, and advertising on their three big morning news shows fell to an estimated $1.03 billion.

The average age of the TV news viewer is 60 (so you can assume all the viewers that they are losing — well they are losing them six-feet under — heart disease, cancer, sheer boredom, etc.)

It doesn’t play well with advertisers who are looking for that ever-elusive 18-35 demographic (who, of course are more than likely living up to their “MTV generation short attention span” ways and getting their news online — when & how they want it.)

Ad Age has an extensive article about how the news world is changing — due to “the internets” and other factors.

Apparently, like all things in life, the internet makes things cheaper & faster — and now TV news departments are adjusting for the change (and only 10+ years late) with using the “cheaper than regular TV” production formats of the web.

One wonders if they’ll ever learn…I wouldn’t hold your breath or bet the farm on it.

You Be The Judge: Arnold’s Progressive Spots

Arnold Worldwide is breaking a new campaign for Progressive Insurance, which is an account valued at $150M, that focuses on the company’s motorcycle insurance.

Boston-based Arnold’s two new commercials use the new tagline, “Life without your bike is just life.” Check it out above.

“Tonally we wanted to evoke the boring, monotony riders experience when they don’t have their bikes,” said Craig Johnson, Arnold’s creative director on the campaign, in a statement. “The ads are basically humorous cautionary tales, told with tongue firmly planted in cheek.”

So, what do you think?

Make Money Money: Publicis Posts Strong Numbers


Publicis Groupe SA said its sales rose slightly to 1.061 billion euros in the first quarter from 1.059 billion euros in 2007. Maurice Levy said if the underperforming health business hadn’t been in there, the results would have been even better. Well, it’s always something, right Moe?

The company said the growth rates of 20% were seen in their digital sector with double digits postings coming from ZenithOptimedia and Starcom which posted double-digit growth. Really? Well, that’s all on the record I suppose, but really? Now, don’t you guys wish you had invested in digital like, you know, in 2002?


A Little History


Hi. Here’s a little history on this blog:

Agency Spy has always been a Mediabistro blog. We did not sell the blog or anything like that. Mediabistro has an entire blog family including TVNewser (which is huge among the boob tube crowd), the very popular Fishbowl NY, and publishing world blog, GalleyCat among many others. Agency Spy is part of this blog network.

We launched the blog on WordPress. Mediabistro wanted to see if the blog had legs, was a viable idea before integrating it into the home site. When the site proved to be a bit of a hit, Agency Spy migrated to the master site. However, at that time, the new site did not host comments nor offer full RSS feeds. Back then, I sort of, um… I launched a bit of a coup and moved the site back onto WordPress, as I was unhappy and so were the readers.

We plugged along on WordPress until the new platform for the Mediabistro site, which includes full RSS feeds and a comments program, was ready to launch. All of the blogs, including the nascent and then, WP-only blog, PRNewser, (a good read for you PR folks), were moved over to the Mediabistro home site at that time. What was that? Like, two weeks ago? In any case, I know that some of your are unhappy with the comment system. I hope that you can find a way to just create that fake Gmail account and register. It’s a one time deal. Easy peasy, right?

I cannot launch a coup this time. It’s not going to happen, so Down Low and I are asking you to accept this change. We know it’s a pain, but think of it like a shot from the doctor. It’s only going to pinch for a second and then, you’ll be registered and ready to roll. To those of you who have already signed up, thanks and it’s nice to have you with us!

Okay. So… just wanted to reach out to you guys. We’ve gotten the emails. Believe.

Super Spy