Just less than three weeks after reporting about staff being let go at both Doner’s Detroit HQ and Cleveland office, we’ve received confirmation that the MDC-owned agency has once again made some cuts. Here’s a statement from an agency spokesperson:
“We have expanded Doner’s operations to include Detroit, Cleveland, Los Angeles, London, and now, Atlanta. As part of this expansion, we have structured our Atlanta operations to be better aligned and integrated with the Doner network. This includes a small staff reduction amounting to about one percent of our employees.”
Once again, more specifics haven’t been revealed by the Doner camp, but tipsters say that 10 in Atlanta office were let go at the end of last week, cutting staff count from approximately 50 to 40. From what we believe, the “one percent” reflects the network as a whole. We’ll keep you posted if we hear more.
We certainly hope this isn’t this the prevailing theme today, but we’ve received confirmation that now it’s Doner has had to cut staff. Unfortunately, unlike what tipsters have been telling us, the reductions weren’t just limited to the Cleveland office, either. We’ve received word from sources familiar with the matter that the MDC-owned agency has cut staff across
the network, which also includes in both Cleveland and its Detroit HQ (Update: The Los Angeles was actually not affected).
A Doner spokesperson tells us,”While it is never a pleasant thing to do, we recently made some reductions in staff which have impacted less than 3% of our employees. These reductions come as we continue to invest in our creative, digital and strategic talent as part of our continuous effort to best align our resources with the work we’re producing for our clients.”
So, this morning, we received a tip that raised our eyebrows regarding the Atlanta operations of a couple of familiar MDC shops, namely Doner and KBS+–specifically the latter’s spinoff unit, Media Kitchen. The tip we received said verbatim, “MDC shaking up Atlanta presence, shifting from KBSP to Doner in the market. Staff told today.”
Well, according to sources familiar with the matter, the situation doesn’t seem as dire as what our spy’s words lead us to believe. According to our sources, after taking a look at the collaboration of MDC’s Maxxcom Global Media group (which was formed earlier this year) and work on shared clients among its media agencies, the holding company thought it best that Media Kitchen Atlanta and Doner’s media clients “would benefit from even greater alignment of the two groups.” Well, consider it done as Media Kitchen Atlanta is indeed being aligned with and will be managed by Doner.
MKA was launched in spring 2010 following MDC’s decision to expand KBS+P into the 404 area. We’ve been told that no cuts are planned as a result of this latest move.
It looks like the one and only Paul McCartney is on the promotional trail, having released his peculiarly titled album “Kisses on the Bottom” this week. Macca as they call him is not only gearing up for a tour, but also took a day or two in London last month to shoot this spot that’s part of the ongoing Harman/JBL “Hear the Truth” campaign from Southfield, MI’s own, Doner. Sir Paul’s rather timely, new single, “My Valentine,” is the featured tune and we have to say, the man himself lo0ks pretty good for almost-70. Despite the low-key mood, we’ll take this over Maroon 5 any time. Look for this spot featuring McCartney in all his smooth, romantic form to break on the telly during the Grammys on Sunday.
Have you ever been at a friend’s party when Maroon 5 comes blaring in on the house stereo system and thought, “Wow, this band sucks. Could it just be the speakers?” With JBL brand speakers, you can now put your theory to the test and come to the realization that, wow, Maroon 5 sucks even more in high definition sound than they do through cheap, generic speakers.
The “Hear the Truth” campaign from Doner and audio equipment manufacturer and marketer HARMAN features a truly bizarre variety of artists praising the quality of JBL speakers. So, what artists featured in the campaign do JBL speakers allow you to hear as the musicians intended? Aside from Maroon 5 (bleh), there’s China’s “King of Pop” Li Huan (huh?), sailing enthusiasts Styx (weird), 80s rockers Night Ranger (wait, really?), and Grammy and Academy Award-winning composer A.R. Rahman. We’ll assume that Christmas-destroyers Train prefer a different set of speakers.
The campaign featuring the lineup of artists is intended for a multiyear run on TV, in print, on the radio and through social media channels.
Well, here’s a tale of a Creative Circus grad made good, we suppose. Mike Brooks, who went to the school from 2000-2004, has joined the roster of Doner as creative director. We’re still awaiting word on what accounts he’s working on, but prior to Doner, Brooks (dressed here like one of Tony Soprano’s goons) worked at McCann Erickson’s Birmingham, MI office as an ACD across all media and spent three years as an art director at Organic before that.
Update: Brooks started this week and will be working on various agency accounts in Doner’s HQ.
Six months after Campbell Ewald vet Craig Conrad left for Doner to serve as EVP, brand leader, another C-E exec, Tena Hermance, has followed suit and made the move from Warren to Southfield, MI. By joining Doner as SVP, brand leader, Hermance actually marks her second tour of duty at the agency, having first signed on in 1991 as an account executive.
During her first stint at Doner, Hermance played a role in helping the agency win Mazda and was part of the team that launched the initial campaigns for the automaker. While at Campbell-Ewald, meanwhile, Hermance held the title of VP, management supervisor on the General Motors CRM business as well as the U.S. Navy and National Flight Academy accounts. Now, in her new role at Doner, Hermance will be responsible for direct response brand positioning and strategic planning across several agency accounts and will also have a hand in new biz dev.
Tim Blett, who has served as senior partner, president at Doner and helped establish its Newport Beach, CA office, has parted ways with the agency. Blett has been a Doner staffer since 1986, originally joining in a new business development role. We have the official memo sent from Rob Strasberg and David DeMuth regarding Blett’s departure, which you can read after the jump.
First off, we’d like to apologize for the janky sound on this clip. If you positively cannot watch this clip solely due to the audio lag, you can watch a better version of the spot here.
Anyways, “Anthem” marks Southfield, MI’s own Doner’s first work for Choice Hotels after being named lead creative agency for the brand last December. Aside from encouraging you to stand on your luggage (which can actually be a ton of fun if you’ve haven’t tried it and don’t travel with wine glasses in your bag), the spot also debuts the new tagline, “Your Voice. Your ChoiceHotels.com.” What’s up with that? As Doner CCO Rob Strasberg says, ““The creative executions for this campaign use the voice of the traveler to position Choice Hotels as the brand with ears.” Watching this spot really only makes me ask one question: “Does anyone know where that dinosaur theme park is?” Credits after the jump.