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Archives: November 2008

Come, Give Thanks with AgencySpy


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Let’s all take a moment and be happy that a couple hundred years ago, some nice people decided to take a day off and celebrate the bounty of the summer/fall harvest. It’s because of their hard work that we spend an entire day stuffing ourselves like food is going out of fashion. But before we do that, let’s celebrate with sweet drinks and salty advertising stories, tomorrow night at the next AgencySpy party. Click here to RSVP.

The pertinent stuff;

Who: You!
What: War stories and levity
Where: The Hill, 416 3rd Ave., Manhattan.
When: November 25th
Why: Think Fido and testicle cleaning
How: Thanks to cheap drinks, of course! ($3 Draft Beer, $5 Apple Martinis, $5 Watermelon Martinis, $5 Cosmos)

We have a theme here at AgencySpy &#151 set all party dates for on or near major religious/national holidays (the last one was on Yom Kippur…). This one is no different, so set aside those grocery shopping lists and join us tomorrow night! (Oh, and be sure to watch our special addition to ‘The Week in Advertising’.

More:The (Next) AgencySpy Party Cometh

Saatchi’s ‘Saved By Zero’ Gets Remixed With The Ring

Toyota’s Saved By Zero ads created by Saatchi & Saatchi just may be the most loathed spot of 2008. The song featured in the ad is from the band, The Fixx. Their frontman, Cy Curnin, recently told Esquire:

“They should have used the original. We had no real say in the matter. Though, it does get people talking about the song. Whether it’s pro or con—that’s a plus.”

True, but this cover is pure, irritating junk. Consider the 5,000 strong Facebook group called, “Stop Playing Toyota’s ‘Saved by Zero’ Commercial.” Oh that’s fricking bad. Need more evidence that Saatchi went down a very wrong path. Check out the comments on this post, just watch the video above where one consumer has remixed the ad with horror flick, The Ring. Can you imagine if you were the CD on this account? Oh boy. That would just suck.

More: Instinct Times Square Billboard Finally Complete

Craigslist Ad of the Day: Junior Graphic Designer/Art Director Wanted

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We ran across this listing on Craigslist today for a Jr. designer, and had a laugh at the $10/15 per hour rate. Take a look at what the agency is asking for and tell us what you think they can expect at that pay grade.

“__________ is looking for a Junior Graphic Designer to work on a freelance basis. If you have a passion for graphic design, are organized, happy, a genuinely kind person, motivated, can work under tight deadlines, are able to juggle many projects, are very productive, love concepting, know InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator and possibly web-related applications, can work from your place and be reachable during the day, have easy access to Pleasantville, have a talent for designing logos, brochures, print advertising, websites, email blasts and more, then you’re our kind of Creative.”

More: “No Wukkas: The Best Headhunters In The Business”

Sid Lee Opens Amsterdam Shop

The video above was made by the zany Canadians at Sid Lee. They’ve opened a new “branch” slash shop in Amsterdam. We heard there’s new laws in Amsterdam that prohibit cigarette smoking in coffee shops. That means the Euros can’t roll their cute little cigs-con-greenleafystuff anymore. Oops! There goes the creativity!

We’re not worried though, any city that permits the Cannabis Cup despite non-smoking laws is OK with us. But Sid Lee, don’t bogart the creativity, mmmk?

(MarketingMag via AdRants)

More:Tourism Montreal Seeks Gay Tourists with ‘Cheeky’ Video

The 2008 Creativity 50

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Creativity has named it’s 50 for 2008 with a smashing cover (see it big here). You can get more info on all the winners here, but the men and women who made the list of high minded, classic philosophers (love it or hate it) are:

Frank Lantz and Kevin Slavin, area/code
Scott Vitrone, TBWA/Chiat/Day N.Y.
Tony Granger CCO, Saatchi & Saatchi, New York
Geoff Edwards, T.A.G
Jon Kamen and Frank Scherma, @radical.media
Laura Klauberg, Senior VP, global media, Unilever

Read more

Farah Ramzan Golant: “A Good Man In A Blizzard.”

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Another top lady is taking on the recession with gusto. Farah Ramzan Golant, head of Abbott Mead Vickers, knows her shop is going to weather the storm. The Independent is clocking the shop’s annual billings at 383m pounds for the past four years.

“I’m very happy in my own skin. Farah is Arabic for joy,” she says. “My ethnicity has never counted against me. People say to me ‘Have you ever had to work harder to play in a man’s world?’ I don’t believe that to be the case. You hear about agencies that are ferociously combative, but we are a very people-orientated culture and that has made it really easy for me.”

Now, there’s some pleasant words, some pleasant news on this bitterly cold Monday morning. Golant became the steward of the agency four years ago and spent the first battling to hold onto business. She maintained those account and went on to lead her team to win 14 out of 17 pitches in the past few years.

Andrew Robertson, head of parent company BBDO, has called Golant “a good man in a blizzard.” And perhaps, with her four languages and tough spirit, maybe he’s got a point. Asked about the advertising downturn in 2009, Golant said:

“If we are now looking at a significantly choppy 2009, I say ‘good’. Let’s get going, let’s grow our share.”

More: The Issues Behind The Issues Of BBDO’s AOR Win On Starbucks

Weekend Update: Betsy Sperry Is Out At Grey West?

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Addendum: We just spoke to Grey. Brad is in charge. Hold onto your hats Grey SF!

Over the weekend, we received reports that Grey West in San Francisco has lost Betsy Sperry as Managing Director. Brad Fogel is rumored to now be in charge.

Emails to Sperry’s email address bounced back to Agency Spy. We’ve contacted Grey, but until Monday, we will not be able to get confirmation from their end. We also don’t know if she has been moved to another sector of the Grey empire or has simply moved on.

Twenty-three years ago, Sperry began her career as a secretary at a small agency and literally, worked her way to the top of this business. Before coming to Grey, Sperry had spent some time at technology shop Anderson & Lembke where she was also managing director. The shop was bought by McCann in 1999. From there, she jumped ship to Halloran Robertson & Associates as EVP and managing director. In 2001, she was off and running again at Beyond Interactive where she was general manager. By 2003, she has the top job at Grey SF and with the dawn of 2006, Grey L.A. was moved beneath her auspice, as well.

In a recent interview, Sperry was asked how she got to the top of the agency heap. Her response:

“The two guys before me quit. (Well, it’s true.)
Also, I think it’s because I refuse to give up. When things get difficult, I tend to turn into the fight rather than run the other way. I’m an optimist. And, I’m very comfortable with the responsibility of having the buck stop with me.”

In the mean time, will this move help right the troubled agency? Don’t get it mixed up. Grey SF does have some talent in its office from art directors to account managers. Perhaps, a shake up like this is just what the agency needs. Stay tuned for more details Monday AM.

More: Grey New York Wins Some Get

Victim Or Culprit? One Ad Man’s Fate Has Been Decided

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Wang Fei, once an employee of Saatchi & Saatchi’s Beijing office, has been the subject of a “human flesh search engine” – a more violent form of cyber bullying where thousands of people expose and post personal details about a perceived criminal. This was the case of Lori Drew who is currently on trial for allegedly driving a young teen to commit suicide. Web users determined her address, cell phone number and more on the internet, which lead to Drew having lynch mobs outside of her home.

What was Fei’s offense? Having an extra-martial affair. Wang’s wife blogged the unfolding story of her husband’s infidelity before leaping to her death. An online mob quickly formed and in hours, Fei’s identification, bank account numbers and other personal details were online for anyone to view. Wang resigned from Saatchi & Saatchi after the office became the subject of demonstrations.

Forbes
has report that Wang is now suing the two internet portals where the cyber hunt took place for defamation and violating his privacy.

If you want even more details on this sordid tale, go here for a blow-by-blow accounting complete with photos.

“The use of the Internet to achieve social shaming, monitoring and ostracism, or for private revenge by private citizens, has become prevalent in Chinese society,” Anne Cheung, a law professor at the University of Hong Kong, told the WSJ recently.

Ruining a person’s financial security and posting bank accounts and identifying information online is turning into a past time in China. In 2008 two other cases captured the rage of internet users – a man who disrupted torch relay in Paris and a girl from northeastern China who criticized those affected by the massive earthquake received similar treatment as Wang.

More: Back To Britain: A Closer Look At The Saatchi Boys

Grey SF’s Hilarious Help Wanted Ad

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Really now. All you San Francisco young bucks looking to get in the industry? Don’t be fooled by Grey West’s ad on Craiglist. The copy reads:

“Grey offers outstanding opportunities for career growth, access to global resources, challenging client opportunities and best-in-class industry mentorship and leadership.”

Yeah. We were as surprised as you that Grey SF won BMW’s regional business. That is – until we saw the memo saying that Grey New York’s talented top dawg, Tor Myhren had spearheaded (the) creative triumph and … mobilized all (the) resources to clinch the deal.”

Good for them! And if you need a gig (and in this climate who doesn’t) send your resume. But, um, no really, erm… that whole bit about “best-in-class mentorship and leadership?” From what we hear and what the commenters say – don’t bet on it. Get the job and the transfer to New York. Tor will take care of you.

More: So, What Happened to Grey SF’s Blog?

Ad Man George Beach Retires

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Long time Philadelphia ad man, George Beach, is headed for retirement. The seventy-two year old is founder of Beach Creative Communications, the longest-surviving African American advertising agency in the nation.

Beach took on a racial establishment way back in 1958 to have a soaring career as an advertising executive. He is the recipient of numerous awards including the Addy, Neographic, and Art Directors Club awards and a best of category award from Printing Industries of America. George is married to Mary, an opera singer, and has two sons – one, Matthew, has been named the the president of the Beach firm. He is also an artist.

Mr. Beach – we salute you.

More: The DON’Ts Of Advertising Agencies: The Black Folk Edition

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