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Agency.com

Two by Four Calls the Chicago Bears ‘Monsters,’ Rest of NFL Laughs

It’s the dawn of the 2012 NFL season, which means it’s time remember a bunch of reasons why the Chicago Bears totally suck. Let’s see, there’s their awful coach (Lovie Smith) who has absolutely no concept of when to throw a challenge flag, their wholly unlikable quarterback (Jay Cutler) who just married a wholly unlikable reality TV star (Kristin Cavallari) and sired what will inevitably become a wholly unlikable child (Blaine or something), their awful stadium (Soldier Field) which not only has the worst turf in football, but happens to have the smallest seating capacity despite being located in the NFL’s second-biggest TV marketing, that fact that they’re trying to make their only player that is actually very good at something (Devin Hester, returning kicks) into something that he isn’t good at (catching footballs), the city is still stuck living in 1985…

Yes, I could go on. As a Packers fan, the 2012 Bears make me quite happy. However, as a Chicagoan, there’s nothing worse than hearing everyone at my office constantly whine about how awful the Bears are. So, credit local shop Two by Four for attempting to instill some sense of pride in the Bears, which will be gone by week 1 when it becomes clear that Brian Urlacher‘s injury-filled career is finally ending. Set against the background of the city skyline, Bears stars like, uh, Patrick Trahan take on opposing players with primal ferocity.

Two by Four tells us to “Believe in Monsters,” which is pretty hilarious when you consider that the scariest thing about playing the Bears is playing on Soldier Field’s ankle-devouring turf. Even the home team hates playing on that.

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InBev Taps VML to Handle Digital for Stella?

 

Sources familiar with the matter tell us that Kansas City-based agency VML, which we also believe was recently named social media AOR for Saks Fifth Avenue, has now been tapped as digital AOR for InBev’s Stella Artois after a review. The agency, which sources tell us was notified this week, wouldn’t comment on the matter, but we’re checking with Anheuser-Busch InBev to get more clarification.

Update: So, here’s the deal. VML is indeed the new digital agency of record for Stella Artois (U.S. only).  From what our sources tell us, Anheuser-Busch InBev did not previously have an AOR for digital work in the U.S.  A review was conducted and VML was awarded the business.

 

We Hear: 30 iCrossing Staffers Lost Their Jobs

Sources tell AgencySpy that over the last week, some 30 iCrossing staffers have been laid off. According to sources, a pending lawsuit filed by Agency.com which purports iCrossing filched staff is “tearing” the agency apart. And of course, the economy isn’t helping.

Hmm, with a multi-million dollar shiny new office in Brighton, you’d think there would be enough cash to keep the bees around. But maybe they’re cutting a few here, a few there.

The $19.5 million lawsuit claims that after leaving the company in 2006, former Agency.com CEO Don Scales teamed up with iCrossing prior to the end of their 180 day agreement (during which time Scales was paid by Agency.com and expected to remain “loyal” and keep his “promise” to the company). Translation: non-compete, non-disclosure, non-solicatation contracts existed, but Scales may have breached them.

The suit claims Scales actively sought Agency.com staff and clientele; actions that they believe lead to the closing of Agency.com’s Dallas office in 2007, and “decimated” the Chicago office.

Per a source familiar with the lawsuit, the case is ongoing and there aren’t any updates. But somehow, iCrossing’s executive team has managed to erode $50 million in value. In just 18 months. What’s the connection? Bad decision making from the executive group.

We can’t say when or who, but rumor is some of the top people are thinking of bailing.

iCrossing representatives did not respond Wednesday evening. As always, e-mail matt@ mediabistro.com with deets.


More:
iCrossing Fined for Illegally Dumping Trash

Skittles Campaign Comes Down After Twitter Pranks

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From Mediapost: “Skittles’ Web site redesign via Twitter put the colorful coated candy in the spotlight, but the company pulled the campaign on Tuesday after pranksters started tweeting profanities that ended up on the company’s home page.”

Agency.com is responsible for the Modernista rip off site. In the beginning, everything was fine. Twitter users were talking about the campaign. Good! And then, the tide turned. Internet users began to write negative comments that took over the connected Skittle’s home page.

During the first days of the Skittles campaign one Tweet read: “obstinategambol: I wonder how long this #skittles thing can go on before Mars decides that having live commentary running isn’t beneficial to brand image.”

Oh obstinategambol… about three days.

More: Come Home To Agency.com

Agency.com Sues iCrossing for “Massive” Staff and Client Filching

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AgencySpy has learned that Agency.com has filed $19.5 million lawsuit against competitor iCrossing for allegedly poaching staff and clients from his former employer.

We obtained the petition submitted to Dallas District Court on Nov. 5th by Agency.com’s lawyer Jacqeline C. Johnson, which outlines the situation from Agency.com’s point of view.

Named as a principal in the suit is iCrossing CEO Charles Scales, former Agency.com president and CEO. Agency.com alleges that after leaving the company in 2006, Scales teamed up with iCrossing prior to the end of their 180 day agreement (during which time Scales was paid by Agency.com and expected to remain “loyal” and keep his “promise” to the company). Translation: non-compete, non-disclosure, non-solicatation contracts existed, but Scales may have breached them.

The suit claims Scales actively sought Agency.com staff and clientele; actions that they believe lead to the closing of Agency.com’s Dallas office in 2007, and “decimated” the Chicago office.

Click continued to read on.

More:iCrossing Fined for Illegally Dumping Trash

Read more

Agency.com Gets On The Nike Payroll

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Agency.com would like you to know that they’ve landed an account. The shop will be working with Nike on digital initiatives for their NikeStore and NIKEiD properties. Good for them, but who isn’t working for Nike? Raise your hands.

More: Warren McKenna rejoins Agency.com

Come Home To Agency.com

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I was traveling earlier this week until about 5 this morning. Sheesh. When I read a press release about a staffer rejoining Agency.com, I thought – double sheesh. I need sleep. Am I reading right?

Agency.com today announced the appointment of Warren McKenna as Director of Business Development and Marketing. Warren has come back after seven years of running his own business, the Warren McKenna Design Group.

Sounds like Warren is one of the many entrepreneurs who are returning to corporate life in lieu of a very, very troubled economy. The New York Times recently wrote an enlightening article on the small business owners turning back to the fold. You know, if you care about that stuff.

Agency.com Is A Naughty, Naughty Agency

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Whatever you may think of Agency.com (“A hot mess!” “Subprime!” “They still have an office in New York?”), you have to give them credit for keeping their neck above water. Today, they’ve appointed Jeremy Daly as Director of Planning. Daly was a
partner and marketing director at Ogilvy New York with a focus on their IBM business. He began working for the Omnicom shop in 2001 where he led the Toronto office of Ogilvy Interactive.

Jeremy Daly said: “I am eager to be a part of a company that can make flexibility and collaboration easy across multiple disciplines, ultimately leading to greater business impact.”

OMG. These press releases kill us. Serious. Can you get through that last piece of quote without rolling your eyes? Agency.com is in the middle of a staff-up though. They just got a new managing partner, Joan Zulawski. We’re sure that there are more new hires to come.

By the way, Agency.com has gotten busted by users of Wikipedia for altering their own entry. A total fricking no-no, especially when you are an interactive company. Come on. You guys must have known you were going to get busted! Agency.com has 8 edits coming from their own IP address. They changed small things like current accounts and staff numbers, but they also messed with the section labeled “viral controversy” that deals with the Subway experiment, which is a huge part of the Agency.com story.

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The before shot above has – “the vast majority of industry response to Agency.com’s tactic has been overwhelmingly negative. Many comments on YouTube have also noted that the positive comments that were made by YouTube members who have had accounts that, in many cases, werejust hours old, adding to suspicion that the positive “buzz” on the YouTube site was merely Agency.com employees patting themselves on their virtual backs.”

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The after shot above, as well as their current entry page, has that same section now reading – “many industry responses to Agency.com’s tactic has been negative or sarcastic. While the video came under fire, the tactic was also praised by many in the industry including…”

While the adjusted editorial is true (some folks liked their attempt to land the Subway business), it also discards the controversy the ran through the industry about falsifying comments on social media sites. Naughty, naughty. We get the impulse. There are a ton of things written about this blog we would love to erase, but your digital history is history – blogger, agency or individual. Gotta live by your successes and mistakes once you’re out and about on the big wide web.

Want to check who is editing your agency’s page on Wikipedia? Here’s how you do it.

Agency.com New York Tries To Shake Up Their Forecast

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Agency.com New York (yes, the shop is still open for business) has named a new managing partner, Joan Zulawski in attempt to get some more hands on deck. Riccardo Zane, President of Agency.com, said:

“We recognize the value of investing in top industry leaders in order to best serve our clients.” And, “Joan has a wealth of experience working successfully with major brands and their customer relationships. We are thrilled to have her as part of our team.”

And you should be Mr. Zane. Most recently, Joan was SVP, Group Management Director at Draftfcb. So… Joan bounced from the often squally Draftfcb to join the even more tempestuous Agency.com. Hunh. Oh wait. Here we go:

“Joan spent over four years as the Group Account Director at G2/Grey Interactive managing senior client relationships including Reliant, Mars, Vonage, Nokia, Phillips Consumer Electronics and Nestle.”

Joan likes stormy weather apparently. Good for her. Someone has to ride the rough seas and look at her go:

“Agency.com’s multiple digital touchpoints approach is what clients need today more than ever. In my 20 years of working with global brands, I have rarely seen an agency that understands modern digital marketing like they do.”

Joan will be responsible for providing leadership for senior client partnerships and deepening current relationships. Additionally, she will
work alongside the business development team driving growth and generating new client relations.

Other recent bodies shifts out of Agency.com include AKQA poaching Agency.com exec Scott Symonds to build its media practice in January. Omnicom snapped up Jason Kuperman for their Vice President, Asia Pacific Digital Development spot a few weeks ago. He was formerly Managing Director of the Shanghai office of Agency.com, part of the TBWA\network.