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Archives: October 2011

Digitas/Razorfish Health Now Housed Under PHCG Umbrella

We’re not sure if this is an evolution of the “shared centers of excellence” structure that Digitas/Razorfish Health were plotting after the last round of layoffs this summer, but whatever the case, the agencies have now aligned with Publicis Healthcare Communications Group as part of a revamp of Publicis Groupe’s healthcare offering.

With this move, Digitas and Razorfish Health will join a PHCG roster that currently includes Saatchi & Saatchi Health, Publicis Life Brands, Publicis Healthware International, Publicis Touchpoint Solutions, and Publicis Medical Education Group. Leadership-wise, while Digitas/Razorfish Health CEO is calling it quits by year’s end, global co-presidents Michael du Toit and Alexandra von Plato will remain on board and report to PHCG president/CEO Nick Colucci. In a statement, Publicis Groupe COO Jean-Yves Naouri, who’s been mentioned over and over as Maurice Levy‘s eventual successor and oversees PHCG, says, “This move will create patterns of cross-fertilization, ensuring that we have the sharpest and best integrated skills on the market.”

The Philly-based Health units’ client roster currently includes J&J, Prizer and Bristol-Myers Squibb.

Thursday Odds and Ends

-Olson grabbed strategy, advertising, digital and media duties for P.F. Chang’s-owned Pei Wei Asian Diner. link

-Mike Berg, one-time in-house editor at JWT, was promoted to editor at Chicago-based Optimus.

-Philly’s Red Tettemer + Partners created a crowdsourced Facebook contest for the California Association of Realtors. link

-Havas saw a revenue boost in the third quarter. link

-Hello Design and architect Hitoshi Abe collaborated on a new site for UCLA Architecture and Urban Design. link

-Can the U.S. Postal Service just make up its mind already? link

-Apparently, there’s a “big announcement” that will follow the teaser ad above. link

-Gawker wonders if this is the worst Axe ad ever. Can’t say it’s great. link


Audi Saves Trick-or-Treaters’ Lives

Is there any bigger Halloween buzzkill than running over trick-or-treaters with your luxury automobile? Not only does it take a toll on your conscience, but the necessary repair work can run a high bill, especially if you’re driving an imported specialty vehicle.

With the Audi A6′s thermal imaging and night vision assistant technology, the holiday revelry doesn’t have to end on the way from the bar to the afterparty. The above spot, created by AKQA, reminds drivers of the 41 million little monsters on the roads this year (not to mention their accompanying parents, who make for slightly larger but equally frightening monsters). As we’ve been told, the technology, which can detect pedestrians up to 300 feet away, is displayed in the spot with no special effects added.

While Audi A6 drivers can enjoy Halloween with added security, those of you who choose to be cruising around in different cars should remember to keep an eye out, keep the speed down, and keep your car stereo blasting “The Monster Mash” to a reasonable level. Credits after the jump.

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MARC USA Adds A-B Vet to Roster

It looks like MARC USA’s new SVP/ECD John Immesoete will be catching up with a familiar friend in the fold as the agency’s announced that it’s hired Dan McHugh as VP/group account director on Rite Aid and business development. Immesoete, if you remember, spent some time as group creative director on Anheuser-Busch at DDB Chicago while McHugh spent 21 years in the marketing department at what is now A-B InBev, most recently serving as VP, media, sponsorship and activation. Michele Fabrizi, president of MARC USA, which currently has offices in Chicago, Miami and Pittsburgh, calls McHugh an “integrated marketing master” in a statement, adding that he’s “…exactly the kind of leader we need to help drive further innovation for our clients and our agency.”


We Hear: So This is What’s Probably Happening at the Frogpond

There may not have been layoffs as we initially reported last Friday at StrawberryFrog’s New York office, but that doesn’t mean there’s any less drama. Sources familiar with the matter tell us that in lieu of cuts, founder/chief Scott Goodson has asked senior management at the agency to take what we hear is a 20 percent pay cut. Whether this is retroactive is still unclear, but we’ll find out soon enough. To be honest, we feel it’s beating a dead horse at this point. Let’s take a break from the Froggers unless something major happens, shall we?

Guy Behind ’1000 Memories’ Returns with ‘Shoebox’ App

Rudy Adler, who you might remember from his days as a copywriter at W+K Portland (where he last helped create the Levi’s “Go Forth” campaign), has launched a follow-up to his rather interesting labor of love, “1,000 Memories.” The sentimentality remains, though Adler and a crew of his old W+K collaborators are now moving from online to mobile with the launch of “Shoebox,” which turns your smartphone into a social photo scanner that lets you scan traditional photos and share them with your loved ones, strangers at a bar, or whomever you please.

Adler tells us, “There are trillions of photos out there, waiting to be shared with friends and family, but getting them online has traditionally been difficult and time-consuming. By putting a scanner in people’s pockets, we hope to change that and make it incredibly easy and social for people to digitize and share artifacts from their pasts.” Check out of the video above that explains things and download the app here if you so choose. Credits after the jump.

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We Hear: Ibarra Headed to KBS+P? (Updated: Yes)

It looks like Jorge Ibarra just can’t quit BMW, or vice versa for that matter. According to our spies, Ibarra, who’s worked as an account exec/supervisor on the automaker’s business since it was handled by Publicis, is heading to, where else, KBS+P, which was named BMW’s lead creative agency in August. Our spies say that Ibarra has been working on BMW for seven years now and most recently worked at Grey, which handled the brand’s Tier 2 regional business and was contending for the national business which of course eventually went to Kirshenbaum. We’re trying to get confirmation from KBS+P and will let you know if and when we do.

Update: As promised, KBS+P has confirmed that Ibarra is starting in January, though exact title/role is still being worked out.

Lewis Black Tirade Signals Launch of ADC Call for Entries (Audio NSFW)

Comedian and occasional Daily Show figure Lewis Black brings his signature angry delivery to a new campaign that heralds the launch of the 91st ADC Awards call for entries. DDB New York created the campaign, which features the theme “Keep Fighting the Good Fight” and also includes print components (examples below). Black’s rant about award shows/agency life ends with a nice “go fuck yourself.” We wouldn’t have it any other way.The ADC online call for entries is now open here. Peep credits after the jump.

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Thursday Morning Stir

-Social media agency We Are Social opened up shop in Singapore. BBH alum Simon Kemp will be heading up the operation as managing director. link

-Gravity Digital is behind a new social/digital effort to Development Corporation for Israel/Israel Bonds. link

-Fitzgerald+CO and Partizan director Jeremy Konner have teamed up to create a new campaign for Pergo XP (above). link

-Sony acquired Sony Ericsson for $1.47 billion. link

-LoyalKaspar New York was involved with the branding efforts for ESPN/Longhorn network. link



Asics Launches Global Review

Can’t say we didn’t see this coming. Two weeks after its spinoff fashion shoe line Onitsuka Tiger handed a global assignment and U.S. AOR duties to California-based shop Pitch, Asics has announced its own search for a lead global creative agency. According to Campaign, the changeover won’t officially take place until after the brand finishes up its efforts for the 2012 Olympics in London. Asics’ current agency roster including Vitro (which handles U.S. efforts), Dentsu (Asia/Japan) and 180 Amsterdam (2012 Olympics project) are all currently involved in meetings regarding the review here in the States. Check out one of Vitro’s niftier efforts for Asics above.

Update: According to sources familiar with the matter, the three-year AOR contracts that Asics signed with Vitro and the other aforementioned agencies are expiring, hence the global review launch. We’ve been told that all agencies involved are re-pitching and it’s not a matter of Asics wanting to make a break and look elsewhere.