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Archives: February 2013

Sproule Leaving AKQA SF, Heading to NYC? (Updated: Yes)

Hmm, well this little memo purportedly written by AKQA chairman Tom Bedecarre seems to indicate that the WPP-owned agency’s San Francisco managing director Stuart Sproule is moving on from the Bay Area and heading to our home turf. We’re of course trying to verify the matter with said agency, but here’s what we got below, verbatim:

“Anchors Aweigh, my boys, Anchors Aweigh. Farewell to college joys, we sail at break of day, ‘ay ‘ay ‘ay…

After 12 years of loyal and dedicated service to AKQA, Stuart Sproule has made the reluctant decision to pursue a new career and life opportunity in New York City. Fulfilling a long-held desire to return to Madison Avenue where he started his advertising career at JWT, Stuart will be joining TBWA as President of their global Digital Arts Network, which includes a team of 700 digital specialists across 18 TBWA offices.

February 28th will be Stuart’s last day at AKQA and because he has been busy making plans to move his family to New York, he won’t be back in San Francisco for several weeks — at which time I will be hosting a farewell reception so that we can properly send off Stuart with our best wishes and thanks for his many contributions to AKQA.

Until we meet once more, Stuart, here’s wishing you a happy voyage — to your new — home!

Best regards,
Tom


Tom Bedecarre
Chairman”

Sproule, along with several others, was promoted by AKQA last year and took on the role of managing director, international operations & talent.

Update: It’s confirmed and Sproule joins Digital Arts Network on March 1 and will be based in New York. See statement after the jump.

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Sparks Splits from Union, Heads to Ogilvy

Not sure why we received so many tips about this (and from different IPs, mind you), but yes, sources familiar with the matter have confirmed that Bryce Sparks, who we’ve been told worked as account director on the Axe, Wisk and CREA accounts while at Toronto-based Union, has joined up with Ogilvy Toronto this week. We’ve been told the parting was amicable between the shop formerly known as CP+B Toronto and Sparks, who spent the majority of his ad career at DDB Canada, working out of Vancouver most recently as global account director on the Canadian Tourism Commission biz.

 

Wednesday Morning Stir

-Hy Connect has acquired Chicago-based digital shop, lonelybrand. link

-Let’s revel in a little slo-mo action courtesy of McCann London for Sony’s Xperia Z, which was launched this week at the Mobile World Congress and breaks officially on March 1 (above).

-Kansas City-based Bernstein-Rein has won the LPL financial biz and as a result, will handle LPL’s entire marketing outreach: B2B and B2C.

-Fresh off of booting a client, Minneapolis-based, Omnicom-owned Martin|Williams has gained a new one in footwear/apparel brand, Wolverine. M|W takes over on AOR duties for Milwaukee-based Hanson Dodge and strategic/creative planning will begin immediately.

-Yahoo goes on the defensive about its ban on working from home. Is it the “right move?” link

- Contextual ad-tech company Vibrant Media has appointed former Newsweek, Hearst and Disney exec Pamela Raley as its VP of sales, East region.

Bjorn Borg Attempts to Create the Ultimate Nightlife Photography Exhibition

Nightlife Photography: Is there anything that brings back the memories of sneaking into a clubs underage and looking like a complete idiot more than this? In fact, if you should scrape the archives of sites like Last Night’s Party and The Cobra Snake, you’ll find photos of me looking bewildered and terrified at parties hosted by much cooler people than I. Ah, childhood.

Now, designer underwear brand Bjorn Borg is attempting to catch consumers’ young, wild days with Unforgettable Night, a new online exhibition of nightlife photography happening around the world. Leading the celeb talent is Vogue event photog Pablo Frisk (above), whose last name doubles on as a state of mind. On the site, his photos are formatted as a hyper-linked magazine layout, with the pull quote “Female sexiness—it gives me such a rush” giving readers a glimpse inside of Frisk’s profound perspective on life.

Also featured is Berlin-based photographer Sven Marquardt, who looks absolutely fucking terrifying, doesn’t he? Marquardt and Frisk are the first two of six photographers who will be featured on the site. Interested designer underwear-donning consumers can get their own photos on the site using the hashtag #unforgettablenight on Instagram.

Adidas Plays Hare in NFL Turtle Race

Image from Nbcsports.com

The NFL Scouting Combine is a lot like speed dating—appearances trump substance. Executives make snap judgments about prospects. Players are valued by physical measurements and statistics. The fastest football players are like the most attractive girls at a bar waiting to be picked up by rich suitors who will drop them without hesitation the moment they find a more attractive—or faster—replacement. When it comes to the NFL, the corporations have all the power. Not just the league and teams, but the sponsors as well.

Accepting these truths about NFL business makes adidas’s promise to sign the prospect with the best 40-yard dash time to an endorsement deal smell like a desperate grab for headlines. The news, first reported by Darren Rovell at ESPN.com, seems particularly strange considering NFL players aren’t allowed to wear adidas gear during games; rules only permit Nike and Under Armour apparel. Would sponsoring the fastest player help adidas slice into the NFL money pie? Probably not, even if that player was good. The fact that the contest is predetermined for a single skill rather than an overall body of work is dumbfounding, since speed does not guarantee ability.

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Tuesday Odds and Ends

-San Francisco-based Duncan/Channon has appointed its first partner in 13 years in Mike Lemme, who joins fellow partners, president Robert Duncan,  ECD Parker Channon and CEO Andy Berkenfield. In addition to Lemme’s bump-up, D/C welcomed former AKQA ACD Andrea Bozeman as creative director.

-Two years after joining up with Sasquatch,  Patrick Mullins, who also served as creative director on T-Mobile while at Publicis West,  has been hired as creative director at indie shop, DNA Seattle. Along with Mullins, DNA, which works with clients including The Avon Foundation and the University of Washington, promoted Pete Hughes to creative director.

-Oreo, with the help of W+K Portland, is continually posting YouTube clips like the one above over the next two weeks on how exactly to eat the damn snack. link

-DiGennaro/Goodby alum Theresa Nasi has taken over as managing director, worldwide communications at Ogilvy.

-Following “a rigorous review process that included multiple media agencies and standalone digital shops,” Horizon Media has been tapped to handle all traditional, digital, social and mobile marketing duties for e-cigarette brand, NJOY.

-L.A.-based brand studio Content & Co has appointed  Angelique “Angie” Delgado to the newly created post of account supervisor across clients including Subway and Energizer Personal Care.

-Yahoo’s ban on work from home = bad delivery? link

-Former R/GA Group director of brand development, Jennifer Meyers, has joined up with NYC-based Sullivan as principal, executive director of strategy.

Hobbits Out, Bear Grylls In for Air New Zealand Flight Safety

The hobbits must be busy working on a sequel, because Air New Zealand abandoned their go-to sponsorship subject for Bear Grylls, adventurer extraordinaire and part-time fake adventurer extraordinaire. “Bear Essentials of Safety,” which details in-flight safety procedures with an outdoor twist, runs four minutes and twenty-eight seconds.

Even though Grylls isn’t from New Zealand–unlike hobbits–the spot gives Air New Zealand another reason to show off the country’s ridiculously scenic terrain as their outdoorsman explains instructions atop a mountain and places a dead fish under an airplane seat. Since nobody pays attention to standard in-flight safety precautions, signing up Grylls and changing the poorly-animated template video makes total sense. Shrewd moves by the Kiwis.

Maybe North American airline carriers can follow suit instead of turning off customers with every decision they make.

Since Arnold’s at a Loss for Words, Let’s Fill in Blanks Regarding its Promotions (Updated)

We’re not sure why no one from the Arnold camp chimed in on this after hours of inquiry, but ah well, we’re never one to throw stones. There’s, for better or worse, the commentariat, for that. Anyhow, Wade Devers (pictured, smiling, left), a 14-year, Boston-based AW vet who most recently served as group creative director on work for Jack Daniel’s, has been bumped up to ECD.

In turn with the Devers promotion, we hear from those in the know that Arnold Boston has bumped up ACD/art director Travis Robertson, who’s spent approximately two-and-a-half years with said agency, to VP/creative director. Along with Robertson, Arnold, promoted Robertson’s cohort and most recently ACD/copywriter Greg Almeida to the same role.

Update: As the world turns, we’ve got some color to add to this tale, with Arnold folks telling us that the new ECD role filled by Devers will position him as second in command under Arnold’s managing partner/CCO, Pete Favat. He and Pete will divide responsibility across all accounts. Specifically, Devers will oversee Jack Daniel’s, CVS, Fidelity Investments, McDonald’s, Carnival Cruise Lines, CFP, Huntington, Bank Midwest, and Carbonite clients. Additionally, Wade will help to expand the agency’s design capability and work with Favat to refine the Creative vision and structure.

And, for background:

“Wade was originally hired by Pete back in 1999 as a Senior Art Director and since then has worked on Royal Caribbean, Silk Soy Milk, Fidelity, Monster.com, and Celebrity Cruises. His last promotion to EVP/GCD, [head of art] was in 2008.”

Heineken, Where Interns Get Standing Ovations

It must be great to work for Heineken: sales are up from the post-Bond boom, and your job deals with beer. For someone young looking to enter the workforce, you could do worse than to land an internship with the third largest brewer in the world. Apparently, 1,734 applicants felt the same way and entered Heineken International’s contest to win an event and sponsorship internship. However, this is no ordinary job search. The Italian arm of agency Publicis created an online campaign for “The Candidate,” where users could vote on the best applicants as they reacted to a serious of not-so-spontaneous hidden-camera challenges.

I’m not sure what any of the challenges have to do with the actual position–accompanying the UEFA Champion’s League Trophy on a world tour through May 25th–but if the winner could beat out 1,733 peers AND get a (staged) standing ovation from current Heineken employees, he must be doing something right. I thought the internship required travel, so why is he walking through an office? Must be a European thing.

No word yet on whether the position has a salary, but judging the global economy, he’ll probably receive a measly stipend for beer and end up unemployed in four months. Cheers. Credits after the jump.

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TED Announces Latest ‘Ads Worth Spreading’ Winners

Is it that time already? Well, the folks behind non-profit org TED have announced this year’s list of winners for its annual “Ads Worth Spreading” challenge. How do they measure up to previous winners like Willie & Chipotle’s “Back to the Start?” Well, we’ll let you be the judge, but yes, Y&R NY’s “Annie” ad for Dell (below) as well as a couple of Super Bowl spots made the grade this time around including the Dodge Ram “Farmer” SBXLVII entry and Coca-Cola’s “Security Cameras” effort.

According to the TED camp, to find the work, they briefed six teams of two–one TED speaker paired with one “rising star from the advertising industry”–to seek out work in each category. In turn, TED’s 25 “Advocates,” which is not a Scientology phrase as far as we know but are those who are actual industry leaders in advertising, production, curation and film,” twisted arms and nominated across all categories such as  Talk, Social Good, Creative Wonder and Brand Bravery. See full winners list here.

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