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MWW Names New Chief Strategy Officer

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New York/New Jersey firm MWW announced the hiring of Jess Seilheimer as Chief Strategy Officer.

Seilheimer, who previously served as SVP of digital innovation/strategic planning at Havas, brings more than 15 years of agency experience to the new role.

After leaving Havas, Seilheimer founded the consulting group Cretegic, where she advised startups and other digital businesses on “accelerating strategic planning”; at MWW she will oversee strategic planning and marketing communications strategies across clients.

In addition to her agency history, Seilheimer has contributed to various publications covering the tech and startup worlds and served as an ambassador for SocialMediaWeekNYC.

She will report directly to MWW founder/CEO Michael Kempner.

Multimedia Case Study: Foreplay Edition

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Question: how does a marketer get Millenials to think seriously about their own sexual health?

An ongoing campaign called “beforeplay” (get it?), created by ad shop Vermilion and promoted by Bluetone Marketing & PR for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, tasked the agencies with answering that question.

The larger goal was incredibly ambitious: to reduce the number of STDs and unintended pregnancies in the state of Colorado (which had one of the highest rates in the country).

How did they go about it?

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Roll Call: Allison + Partners and Rubenstein PR

This week, Allison + Partners announced the opening of its newest office in Singapore as well as the hiring of Serina Tan, who will serve as vice president.

Tan brings more than 12 years’ experience to the role, including stints at various agencies and work with clients in the consumer products and services, technology, food and beverage, tourism, automotive and professional services sectors. Before joining Allison+Partners, she served as regional account director at Porter Novelli. Highlights of her career include a cause-related program for HP as well as the launch of the first McCafé in Singapore, the McDonald’s “I’m lovin’ it” tag launch and a brand refresh for the Singapore Zoo. Ms. Tan has lived in Singapore, Japan and Malaysia and she is fluent in Chinese, Japanese and English.

Ms. Tan’s first assignment will be to create a comprehensive campaign for Plaza Singapura, one of Singapore’s largest shopping malls, but she will also play a role in the expansion of Allison + Partners’ Asia Pacific operations. Co-founder and COO Andy Hardie-Brown says,”Based on current levels of business activity we will more than double our Asia Pacific headcount over the coming year.”

New York’s Rubenstein Public Relations hired Jason Ledder as media department group head. He will specialize in earning media mentions for clients across Rubenstein’s portfolio.

Ledder brings more than 15 years of agency experience to the role, most recently serving as VP of media relations at R&J PR. In the new position, he will develop and execute all media relations activities — be they national, regional, local or hyper-local. Richard Rubenstein writes, “We look forward to the additional exposure he will generate on behalf of our clients and public relations campaigns.”

Spin the Agencies of Record

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  • Haberman of Minneapolis has been chosen as AOR for Traditional Medicinals, an herbal tea-maker based in Sebastopol, California. Haberman, which will handle all brand communications, PR, media buying, social media and advertising for the company, was chosen for its familiarity with “mission-driven brands”; Brian Wachtler, president of Haberman, calls the company “an original herbal tea pioneer” (and no, before you ask, the teas do not contain that kind of herb).

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Spin the Agencies of Record

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  • Edelman will be PR AOR for the California Walnut Board and the California Walnut Commission, effective September 1. Edelman will handle all PR and social duties for the organization, which was previously known as the Walnut Marketing Board; the org was established in 1948 to represent the state’s walnut growers and handlers. Edelman will focus on raising awareness of the walnut’s “robust health benefits and innumerable culinary applications” (love that one) and protecting its reputation against its sworn enemy, the hazelnut.

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New U.S. CEO at Burson-Marsteller

Michael LawToday Burson-Marsteller announced the promotion of Michael Law from U.S. president to U.S. CEO, effective September 1st.

Law succeeds political veteran Dave DenHerder, who became CEO in 2012. DenHerder will stay with B-M and parent company WPP in various advisory roles moving forward.

Law first joined the firm in February 2013 to serve as U.S. president, working closely with DenHerder on client service, business development and talent acquisition. He will expand on those responsibilities as CEO.

Prior to joining Burson-Marsteller, Law spent more than 20 years with Ogilvy, serving various roles in the U.S. and Asia-Pacific regions; during his career he has worked with clients ranging from Ford and Coors to American Chemistry Council. Law worked at the U.S. Department of Justice before joining the agency world.

The new U.S. CEO will report to Donald A. Baer, Worldwide Chair and CEO.

Edelman Goes Bipartisan, Hires Two Ex-Senators

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Turns out that the members of our country’s major “lesser of two evils” political parties can agree on a shared love of two things: golf and lobbying.

Today Edelman announced that it had hired former senators Kent Conrad (D-ND) and Judd Gregg (R-NH) as advisors. What does that mean?

Edelman created the new roles specifically for the two one-time lawmakers, who will “provide public policy and communications advice” to clients. Gregg himself told The Hill that he aims to help give members of the Edelman roster “a better understanding of Congress.”

Conrad and Gregg previously worked together on the Simpson-Bowles commission, a bipartisan fiscal reform group convened by President Obama that couldn’t even manage to approve its own proposal; they now count themselves as members of a similar group called Fix The Debt, alternately known as Slash Your Social Security Benefits.

For the record, the duo do not technically qualify as lobbyists in their new roles: they will not be helping congressmen figure out how to make the laws that pander most directly to the interests of the industries that hired them.

Spin the Agencies of Record

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  • Formula PR will handle Dunkin’ Donuts’ planned California expansion with a one-year contract as reported in PR Week today. RF|Binder will retain its position as AOR for the chain on the national level as well as in the New York/Boston markets, but Formula beat out seven other firms to win the regional job. The firm will provide “boots on the ground” while the client will presumably hand out after-work treats.

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Survey Says Clients Trust Ad, Marketing Agencies Over PR Firms

YOUR AD HERE

We don’t mean to be the bearer of bad news, but a recent survey of in-house marketers conducted by Marketing Week and Weber Shandwick tells us that, when asked to name a “primary strategic partner”, far more clients chose their ad and marketing agencies than their PR firms. Here’s a mixed-message quote:

“More than five times as many marketers say PR agencies are losing ground as say they are gaining ground on other specialisms. There is good news too for the discipline. Respondents agree that PR agencies take the lead on messaging and are a strategic partner, and that reputation management is crucial in a digital world.”

The news could be worse, though–and it is far worse for social media agencies.

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UK Firm Goes to Outer Space and Back to Announce Rebranding

Today we learned that a service apparently allows users to send objects into space and film them there for YouTube-ready clips. We also learned that the UK’s Houston PR (nee Twelve Thirty Eight) used the service to highlight the World’s Highest Press Release as it hovered 27 miles above the planet.

It’s a pretty cool way to announce a name change.

Unfortunately–as our own Shawn Paul Wood showed us yesterday–the myths about our ability to make such clips “go viral” are just that (especially when said clips do not involve Walter White bobbleheads or George Takei action figures carrying gay pride flags).

The stunt is certainly fun–but Houston, we may have a problem with the font size…

(H/T AdRants)

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