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Grey Worldwide

Here’s The Video G2 Doesn’t Want You to See


We got an email from YouTube/Google this morning in response to our counter-claim, in which we say we didn’t infringe G2 Direct & Digital‘s alleged Copyright on the above video. Unfortunately, they don’t care about Fair Use because they don’t have to. Their service, their rules. Fortunately, Viddler, Vimeo, Brightcove and a bevvy of other sites haven’t banned us yet. We have accounts with all of them, each happily waiting to receive more videos.

Basically, Google won’t be giving us the account back. But whatever, don’t get mad, get a video account on another server! Today we begin with Viddler, which will probably also take the video down. However, it’ll take at least a day. Then we’ll go to Vimeo, Brightcove and so on. If G2 keeps fighting it, we’ll keep talking about it. And talking about it, and talking about it, until Pete knows when. Sorry if this is boring you, oh kind readers, but we’re not about to let an agency dictate how and what we can show, even if it means we have to convince Mediabistro to develop an in-house player. Gawker did it, and now they live happily ever after.

See Google’s unfun email, after the jump. You don’t need to though, so go about your business.

Update: ARRRRG! The legal team has reconvened and says our “copy of a copy” breaks the rules. Well poop, fun’s over kids, but hey &#151 when it comes down to it we play by the rules. Sorry for ruining your dreams &#151 trust us, ours are also crushed. We tried to be bold, we tried to do you right, and in the end this is where we ended up. Still alive!

More:G2′s ‘Das Pulse’ Clip Flatlines

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G2 Got Our YouTube Account Shut Down


Late last week we found a page on (Grey’s interactive agency G2 Direct & Digital site) which contained a case-study video for the VW ‘Das Pulse’ campaign. We recorded that video with a little camera and then posted it on YouTube. G2 then made a claim to YouTube that we stole their Copyrighted material, so they took our video (and entire YouTube account!) down. Don’t worry, we got another one. Oh, and we still have the original copy of the video. It’s pretty boring, so our gut is to cut it down into something more palatable, and re-post. But it’d be a little time consuming, so we wanted to ask you: should we re-post it? Note: we risk getting sued, but the journalist in me (yes, it exists!) is compelled not to let this story die &#151 but that’s mostly because we didn’t actually, you know, do what G2 is accusing us of.

Don’t forget, they threatened to get us fired. Also, as for the YouTube account &#151 YouTube has an itchy trigger finger on these issues. We could probably hide behind fair use, aka the First Amendment, if it came to court (who knows, I’m not a lawyer). Anyway, the reason the account came down is we had a similar infraction with a different video, and the “owner” complained. With YouTube it’s two-strikes then done. Annoying! We filed ‘counter complaints’ in both cases, and have yet to hear back from Google on either.

More:G2′s ‘Das Pulse’ Clip Flatlines

David Patton Takes Pres/CEO Role at Grey Group EMEA


Grey UK Group CEO David Patton was bumped up to President/CEO of Grey Europe, Middle East & Africa. Patton, who will take his post on January 1, succeeds Carolyn Carter who’s leaving Grey after a 30-year tenure at the agency. Carter, though, will stay onboard with Grey until March 2010 to see the transition through according to the announce.

As EMEA President/CEO, Patton meanwhile will oversee a group that covers 80 cities in 59 countries. Along with the EMEA appointment, Grey promoted its London MD Chris Hirst to CEO of the office.

More: “Grey NY Moves to LEED Certified Bldg. Ending 45 Years at 777 Third Ave

Grey NY Moves to LEED Certified Bldg. Ending 45 Years at 777 Third Ave.

Over the weekend, boxes containing office materials from Grey New York’s 3rd Ave. offices were shipped down to 23rd st. and 5th Ave., and a newly refurbished LEED certified Toy Building adjacent to Madison Square Park. The company has been at the 3rd avenue location for 45 years.

Beginning this Friday, Grey’s teams will undertake a staggered move not ending until Thanksgiving. The first to go is the G2 division, then Grey Group on Nov. 13, Grey advertising from Nov. 19 through 20.

“It’s the end of the Ed Meyer‘s era,” writes a source, “and one of the major goals of the new WPP management. A lot of soul searching among Grey employees, especially those who will be losing private offices for tiny desks (not even ‘cubes’ in the new ‘open architecture’ plan).” Everyone’s a critic.

The deal to move the company was signed back in 2007, presumably as a cost cutting measure. The last time AgencySpy was inside the building was for a meeting with then-new ECD Noel Cottrell, the highlight of which was getting lost in the giant maze at 777 3rd Ave.

The company signed a 15-year lease with L&L Holding Co. for the 370,000 sq. ft. space, which occupies the 2nd through 6th floors, and cost $100 million to renovate. Anoter WPP shop occupies the 7th floor of the Toy Building as well, Cohn & Wolfe. The building is 14 stories tall.

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More:Ogilvy’s Moving, Wanna Fight About it?

Grey New York to Handle Branding for the NFL


The National Football League has picked Grey, New York to handle a fully integrated branding campaign that will unify all league marketing efforts and include TV, digital and offline components.

Grey’s ideas reportedly topped those of Ogilvy, TBWA\Chiat\Day and BBDO, which was handling a sizable amount of the NFL’s advertising. Zing!

In a statement, Mark Waller, NFL Senior VP of Marketing & Sales, said,

“We have wanted to create a single brand campaign throughout the league for years, but we’ve never seen an idea from an agency that addressed all of our varied business issues with equal effectiveness. Grey presented us with creative that promises to pay tribute to our sport and fans and resonate across media channels to further drive consumption of each of our properties.”

June hasn’t been too shabby for Grey as the NFL joins other recent notable client wins including T.J. Maxx and Reliant.

More: “Grey, New York Wins TJ Maxx

Grey NY Wins T.J. Maxx


According to an internal memo, Grey NY has won the T.J. Maxx advertising account. Grey is the AoR on this business and beat out GSD&M, BBH NY and Publicis Dallas to get it.

Memo: “Congratulations to our outstanding pitch team: Kyle Howland, Jan Egan, Ron Castillo, Kathy O’Brien, Deborah Freeman, Michael Houston, Terry Gibraltar, Roger Kilmartin, Laura Catlan, Alex Lubar; Tor Myhren… Our new client singled out our deep retail expertise, the strong consumer insights, superb creative approach we brought to the brand and the chemistry they felt with the talented, dynamic and collaborative team we fielded.”

Wow, where’s the lube when you need it? Anyway, congrats to Grey on the win. This can’t be good for GSD&M, which sorta needs the business.

Acording to Adweek, Grey also won Reliant.


Advertising Globalization: Don’t Mess With Mao, Hitler’s Probably Okay

Advertising Globalization: Don’t Mess With Mao, Hitler’s Probably Okay


There seems to be more and more ads that are offending not their original country of display, but some other far flung nation. It’s like people forget that the internet is a global tool. Even if you have a very nationalistic surfing pattern, consider that the rest of the world is running around cyberspace at full international tilt.

Consider a recent German safe sex commercial for Doc Morris Pharmacies created by Grey Worldwide Frankfurt. The print ad shows Chinese revolutionary leader Mao Zedong as a sperm cell alongside Adolf Hitler and Osama bin Laden. Naturally, many Chinese were upset considering the official party line is that Mao was “30% wrong and 70% right.” He’s a hero. For future reference, you don’t mess with Mao. Other companies have been down this road with similar results. Peugeot Citroen had to apologize for using a cross eyed Mao in advert in Spain.

These days, it’s best to consider that your ad is going to seen by everyone. Make a check list even – does it matter if I offend all of Australia by making a joke of Hugh Jackman? Probably not. The billion plus consumers of China? Might want to think that one through.

More: Because You’re Girlfriend Bores Your Shitless

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Steve Hardwick, Prez Of Grey NY, Has Exited Stage Left


Steve Hardwick, President of Grey New York, has resigned his position. In an email to staffers, Hardwick was lauded for helping to create the agency’s digital department and rebuild its creative team. Jim Heekin, Chairman and CEO of Grey Global Group, and ECD, Tor Myhren, will be leading the agency until a replacement is named. Speculation in the industry centers around the possibility that Steve will be entering the film business. Oh-la-la! If you recall, Hardwick came to Grey New York from StrawberryFrog back in 2006.

More: Grey Moves The Sales Needle On Teen Tale Of Death

Grey Moves The Sales Needle On Teen Tale Of Death

“Thirteen Reasons Why” is a teen novel written by Jay Asher. The book is made up of a transcript by a 16-year-old girl named Hannah Baker. You remember the 1970s book, “Go Ask Alice?” This is kind of like the 2008 version – a tale of caution, teen angst and death. Asher’s book was released in October 2007 by Razorbill, an imprint of Penguin Group U.S.A., and had become something of a cult hit via word of mouth. It spent a short time on the children’s best sellers list last spring and then, faded back to making steady, small sales gains.

Still, Razorbill hired Grey New York to in an attempt to move the title more into the main stream for a final big win. The agency released a series of simple, starkly shot YouTube videos (see above) of a cassette player with actress Olivia Thirlby reading the transcripts from the book as Hannah. Since hiring the agency, the book has had a surge of sales. “The book has re-entered the chapter-book best-seller list in November at No. 10. When next Sunday’s list is published, it will rise to No. 3,” according to The New York Times.

AgencySpy has asked the digital strategist in charge of the campaign, Regan Meador, how something so simple moved the sales needle so far.

1. As a digital strategist at the new Grey under wunderkind Tor Myhren, tell us – do you think people make digital campaigns too complicated too often?

“I think people tend over complicate the digital space. It becomes more about the technology and/or being the “first” to do something – that’s ridiculous. I am by no means the first to say this, but it’s about connecting with people in a way that means something to them. If that’s a website that is a portal to pages of other websites or YouTube videos so be it. If it’s a viral video or an iPhone application – just because it’s already been done doesn’t mean its necessarily wrong. And just because you can, doesn’t make it necessarily right. Our job is to create connection emotionally/physically/subconsciously/whatever.

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Grey’s Baby Comes Back With Some Social Media Kinda Stuff

The talking baby is coming back. The nightmarish child will be making an appearance at the Super Bowl for online trading firm, E*Trade. People like the baby, so Grey wanted to generate some excitement for the dour little punk and have released the video above today – a mash-up of all of their spots from the past three years. Oh! And of course, Grey also wanted to get into “leveraging strategic social media channels.” The tike is Twittering and has gotten a Facebook page, which at this point, has 236 friends. Social media can be more than a defacto Facebook page. Just because you tap on a SMS and throw up a Twitter feed does not mean you have a social media strategy, okay? Hell, at least you can tell your client they now have a Facebook page. They’re probably way psyched and you guys can go back to focusing on broadcast. The social media minimum. Nice work.

Tor Myhren, Chief Creative Officer of Grey New York said: “He [the baby] shows that anyone can do it. Seeing how easy it is for him helps people overcome their fears of what they perceive as complicated technology.”

Ha. Advertising is so funny. Sometimes we’re just a big broom sweeping things beneath the carpet. E*Trade has been fined $1M by regulators or failing to implement anti-money laundering policies and procedures. Now there’s something that consumers may have some fear over.

More: Grey SF’s Guy Seese Departs Three Days After Betsy Sperry