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Posts Tagged ‘Bill Ludwig’

Hmm, Well Lowe Campbell Ewald is Opening Up Shop in NYC After All

loweceWell, we sent inquiries to a few folks last week about this last week after receiving tips like this on Oct. 17: “Lowe NY Again??  Lowe is opening a ny office and the Milk account guy Sal Taibi is being tapped to run it as CEO.  Maybe old lowe clients going w him.   Ronald wohlman is the head creative guy.  Lowe/Campbell Ewald & hill holiday won Cadillac work awhile ago – Lowe NY to take up residence in ny hill holiday office.”

Now, reports are out confirming this and Sal Taibi is indeed leading the charge, not as CEO but as president of Lowe Campbell Ewald’s New York operation. Taibi most recently served as partner/GM at Deutsch NY but spent 16 years prior to that at Lowe, last serving in a similar role as president. No confirmation yet on Ronald Wohlman, but it doesn’t seem too far-fetched considering that he’s already spent the last nine years at Lowe, most recently serving as CCO on the Unilever, North America business.

We’ve just received the official release announcing the new LCE New York office, and in a statement, Lowe & Partners CEO Michael Wall says, “Lowe Campbell Ewald is an agency with a strong heritage and an integrated full service offering that drives great business results for its clients. This combination has already begun to show results as the agency complements Lowe’s
international network. Being able to front those capabilities out of New York alongside the existing U.S. locations should prove an attractive proposition for both national and international clients. Sal Taibi is a natural choice to lead New York given his experience in the market, the strength of his client relationships and his intimate knowledge of Lowe.”

Lowe Campbell Ewald New York is expected to officially open its doors in January 2014 and will include clients Taibi and crew have previously worked with. Regarding the new office, Jim Palmer, LCE CEO who essentially took over for Bill Ludwig this summer, adds, “Our new presence in New York speaks to the commitment we have to Lowe and the momentum our agencies are building together. Our New York office will bolster our national footprint from coast to coast. With offices in Detroit, Los Angeles, San Antonio and now New York, plus Lowe’s international talent and distribution channels, Lowe Campbell Ewald is poised to better help clients navigate the ever-evolving global media and marketing environment.”

Update: So, as of now, the Wohlman tip isn’t true as we’ve been told that no staffing decisions beyond Sal Taibi heading the office have been finalized yet. We’ll keep you posted. On the note about “Lowe NY Again?,” our sources clarify that Lowe has always had a NYC presence since Sir Frank Lowe led the ship and continued through the partnership with sister agency Deutsch, whose name was ‘Deutsch a Lowe and Partners Company’ since 2009. Now, it’s on to the next chapter.

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Op-Ed: Dear Chevy, Find New Ideas

We’re glad to welcome yet another monthly contributor to the fold in the form of Chuck Hipsher, currently a Houston-based freelance creative director who’s worked at the likes of Campbell Ewald, TBWA and what was FCB back in the day. If you wanted a story from the trenches, here you go. We should note that these opinions don’t necessarily reflect those of AgencySpy’s, but feel free to love or hate in the comments thread. By the way, you can read Chuck’s blog here.

I was fortunate enough to have worked on the Chevy Silverado brand from 2005 –2008 at then-Campbell Ewald in Warren, Michigan. I was the Creative Director who led the charge on the “Our Country. Our Truck” campaign.

John Mellencamp’s song, “Our Country” played a decisive role in that campaign’s birth because, frankly, then-CCO Bill Ludwig slid the studio demo cd across the table to me one day during creative development and said, “See what you can do with this, Chuck.”

Coming from the guy who was instrumental in the famous “Like A Rock” and “Heartbeat Of America” campaigns for Chevy, I was nothing – if not obligated, to listen and try.

Early on, we had terrific research and planning information at our disposal on what the Silverado brand meant to the people who cared. It was work extensively mined by one Ted Klauber (the greatest planner in America, btw) and his team months in advance of the creative start.

Ted and team had travelled to a half dozen or so locales throughout the country and interviewed countless truck owners of all brands, not just Chevy. They came back to Detroit and crunched their info and finally decided this: “Chevy truck drivers are everyday heroes. And the Chevy Silverado is their Big Metal Dog.”

That insight immediately sparked the minds of myself and the creatives working with me. We had an early war room with ideas on the wall that rivaled anything I’ve ever seen produced by ANY agency on ANY automotive brand. EVER.

But then there was that Mellencamp thing.

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Yolles, Campbell Ewald Part Ways

Well, this is an interesting management shakeup in what’s already turned out to be quite the busy month at Campbell Ewald–sorry, Lowe Campbell Ewald. Less than a year after joining up with Detroit-based LCE as chief marketing officer, Barbara Yolles and said agency have parted ways. No word yet on if there are immediate plans to replace her, but this marks the second notable management shift at LCE following the departure of longtime CEO Bill Ludwig, who of course was succeeded by Jim Palmer earlier this month.

As for Yolles, the now-ex-LCE CMO joined from McCann, where she initially served in the same role of the latter’s Midwest region before moving up to chief growth officer, North America. During her career, she also had two stints on the account side at Doner and also served as EVP/group managing director at KBS+. Update: We’ve been told that there are no immediate plans to replaces Yolles at Campbell Ewald as of now.

Campbell Ewald Has New CEO, Rebrands

Well, we guess this is notable enough to merit a separate non-Stir post. So yeah, as you may have read this morning, there’s a changing of the guard at IPG-owned Detroit stalwart Campbell Ewald, which has not only welcomed a new CEO, but has joined the global Lowe network. As a result, the new entity will now be known as, yes, Lowe Campbell Ewald and will be led by Jim Palmer, who has been with CE for over 20 years and most recently served as its vice chairman/chief client officer.

As you can gather, Palmer (pictured) is taking over for 31-year Campbell Ewald vet Bill Ludwig, who we’ve been hearing for weeks was no longer with the agency, which was repeatedly telling us otherwise. Along with Palmer assuming the top post, CE president Kathleen Donald will take on the role of chief operating officer and add more management responsibilities. Regarding Ludwig’s departure, IPG chairman/CEO Michael Roth says in a statement, “Bill Ludwig is leaving the agency poised for growth. We wish him well and thank him for his many contributions to the agency over a 31-year career, including putting in place a new generation of management that understands contemporary integrated marketing and the digital landscape.” According to the CE camp, Ludwig could still work in some capacity with IPG.

Hmm, So CE Chief Ludwig Appears to Be Out After All

Well, isn’t that something. Less than a week after sources familiar with the matter told us that the Campbell Ewald executive team “remains in place” following the agency winning Cadillac account management duties, AdAge today echoes what many tipsters were saying prior to the win, that chairman/CEO Bill Ludwig is out. Since June 6, we’ve been hearing on the Spy Line that Ludwig (and possibly one other member of the executive team) was literally shown the door days prior to CE securing its portion of said automaker’s account. AdAge, though, merely reports that Ludwig has “stepped down.”

Ludwig, who still toplines CE’s leadership section on its site, has been with the Detroit stalwart for the duration of his 30-year ad career, starting as a copywriter before moving up the ranks to chief creative/strategy officer to his most recent position at the top of the agency’s food chain. We’ll try to get some comment from Campbell Ewald if possible and will update if and when we can.

Update: The same sources familiar with CE that we talked to last week tell us that “nothing’s changed” since last week, so yeah, consider us confused.

Here Are Some More Details About C-E’s New Detroit Digs


Now that Campbell-Ewald CEO Bill Ludwig‘s press conference is likely over, we’ve received a few more details to follow up our Morning Stir mention regarding the IPG agency’s move back to Detroit after spending the last 35 years in Warren, MI.

Yes, there are now illustrations (above) of what the new space is expected look like once the purported 600 C-E staffers move in at the beginning of 2014. As mentioned already in the Detroit Free Press this morning, Campbell-Ewald Detroit will be located in the old J.L. Hudson Warehouse at Ford Field, which sources add has never been occupied since it was opened as part of the Detroit Lions’ home turf in 2002  (the original idea back then, we hear, was to create a complex of business/entertainment/dining). C-E staff will occupy five floors in the space.

Here’s a statement today from Ludwig: “This is a historical and defining moment for CE. Detroit is a hotbed of aspiring creative and entrepreneurial talent and we want to be part of that energy, and participate in the city’s comeback. With this space, we will bring our employees together in a collaborative, idea-inspiring atmosphere that fuels creative energy which will result in game-changing ideas for our clients. CE was founded in Detroit 102 years ago, and this is where we want to spend the next 102 years.”

Campbell-Ewald’s big announcement comes on the heels of the agency winning global creative/brand strategy duties for Zipcar and another account win is expected to be announced soon.


Wednesday Morning Stir

-As tipsters mentioned this week, Campbell-Ewald is moving from its suburban digs in Warren to downtown Detroit and bringing 600 employees with it. Bill Ludwig, CEO of the 102-year-old agency, will join Detroit Mayor Dave Bing at a 1:45pm news conference today to discuss the move. link

-We inquired about this aplenty last night, but were unable to get some answers considering how late it was, but yes, P&G has shifted its Tampax account from Leo Burnett to sister Publicis Groupe shop, Publicis Worldwide. link

-The Droga5-created UNICEF Tap Project is heading to Facebook, turning the social network into a celebrity-filled “water network” as part of its annual commemoration of World Water Month (above). Go here and here to find out more.

-Bi-coastal/London-based Final Cut has added editor/Cut + Run alum James Rose to its roster. Rose will work out of Final Cut’s London office.

-Now, Mayor Bloomberg and his officials are planning a social media campaign to battle noisy earbuds. link

-SodaStream has backed down from its threat to take legal action against Clearcast, which banned the former’s global spot in the U.K. link

Hopp to Be Inducted into AdCraft Club of Detroit’s HOF

Guess retirement’s working wonders for Tony Hopp. Eighteen months after stepping down as top dog at Campbell-Ewald, the 40+ year agency vet is getting inducted into the Adcraft Club of Detroit’s Hall of Fame. His successor, Bill Ludwig, sings his praises in a statement, saying, “As chairman, Tony had the vision to diversify the Agency’s business by leveraging the capabilities CE had developed over the years. He built an inspired culture on one philosophy: focus on the quality of the work, and the rewards would follow.”

Hopp started at C-E as an assistant account exec in 1968 and eventually worked his way up to president in 1993. Soon after, in 1996, he was named CEO of the Detroit agency and its chairman a year later. Some folks, though, are cynical about Hopp’s induction, citing that since right after his departure, Hopp’s former agency lost Chevy after 90 years and several notable staffers subsequently left over the course of 2010/2011. One seemingly irked tipster even asks, “Wonder how much he bequeathed to the Adcraft’s scholarship fund in order to ‘be honored with’ this designation?” Ouch, we won’t even touch that one, but in case you were wondering, Hopp will officially be inducted at Adcraft Club’s “Mad Men & Women of Detroit” event tomorrow.

We Hear: GM Shifts Chevy Dealer Biz from Velocity

No rest for the wicked during “Snowpocalypse 2010″ as a few different sources have let us know over the last several days that Campbell-Ewald unit Velocity will lose the Chevy tier two dealer business by April 1, 2011. We’re being told that the business is shifting from the IPG shop over to an Omnicom agency, perhaps Retail 3, which the latter holding launched in March of this year.

We hear C-E CEO Bill Ludwig has announced the news to the Velocity staff and GM informed the dealers. According to Adweek, Velocity handles Chevy dealer business (worth $200m according to spies) spanning 3,000 dealers in 105 markets. We’re checking with Velocity on this, but suffice to say, it’s been somewhat of a rough patch heading into the holidays for the C-E camp, having endured major layoffs earlier this month already.

Update: Well, in an interesting turn of events, we received this statement and we’re checking with Velocity on the validity of it:

“Effective April 1, 2011, Velocity Marketing will become Agency 720 and operate under the Omnicom organization. U.S. International Media will support Agency 720 for Chevy LMA media buying responsibilities. Dan Fletcher is the Chief Executive Officer of Agency 720, and many of the Velocity employees you work with today will transition to Agency 720.

Chevrolet made the announcement this morning to all of the LMA presidents. So, it’s business as usual, and we will continue to support the Chevy LMAs and Velocity Marketing through March 31, then Agency 720 beginning April 1 with the same intensity and passion as we have for the past two years.”

Chevy Silverado Pitchmen = Gay?

That’s the somewhat far-fetched (IMO) interpretation from Forbes writer Joann Muller, who claims the characters in this new Chevy Silverado campaign are just “a couple of beefy gay guys poking fun at truck enthusiasts.” Really?

David Puddy aka Patrick Warburton and Hot Tub Time Machine/The Office‘s Craig Robinson play Duramax Diesel and Alison Transmission, respectively, and judging by the 3 1/2-minute web-based clip above, we’re not sure how Muller came up with this conclusion save for perhaps the final 10 seconds. Sure, it’s not the usual Denis Leary-voiced, testosterone fueled truck ads we’re used to seeing while chugging beer and downing chips during a football game, but we’re missing the innuendo and/or any real obvious allusions to sexual orientation within this clip–which is not all that funny to begin with.

Still, it’s an interesting play for Campbell-Ewald, which is perhaps celebrating its swan song with the Chevrolet brand by going against type and reeling in notable names to reach and perhaps prod the tough guy demo (where we’re sure there’s a little homophobia in tow). Muller, though, wonders if this is C-E’s way of “sabotaging” Chevy trucks as it closes the door, but like her, we think that’s even too devious for an agency that’s perhaps grasping at straws at the moment (and  even if the characters are gay, why would that equal sabotage?).

In a statement,  Campbell-Ewald CEO Bill Ludwig tells Forbes, “This campaign is a complete departure from traditional heavy duty truck creative, driven by humor, to bring to light the insight of how the target relates to one another and to their truck.” What do you think? Check out campaign hub here and two more spots after the jump.

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