Yes, that’s the word on the street/tips line. For the last week, we’ve been hearing that Doug Livingston, who we reported was leaving his post as EVP/director of digital integration, is joining up with McGarryBowen. Now, spies on the ground tell us that it is indeed so, though no title/start date has been disclosed as the usually responsive, Dentsu-owned agency is being unusually quiet about this particular matter. We’re trying to light a fire, but we’ll keep you posted. As mentioned previously, Livingston spent six years in all at Grey and oversaw digital biz dev, recruitment and client assignments while at said agency.
We’ve received confirmation that McGarryBowen did indeed cut staff this week in its Chicago office as part of a–stop me if you’ve heard this one before–”restructuring to better align with client needs.” We’ve been told that the cuts, which affected approximately 10 staffers across departments in Chicago (or roughly five percent of said office’s workforce and less than one percent of McGB’s U.S. network), were not due to client loss.
Tipsters, as usual though, are saying otherwise, alleging that there was an internal announcement made today at McGarryBowen Chicago regarding a phasing out of more than one account. We’re of course following up with the agency to try to get some clarification/verification on this particular matter. Update: The McGarryBowen camp assures us that there was no client loss announced today. Perhaps some are still shell-shocked by the Reebok loss last month.
We’ve been told by those in the know that this new effort from McGarryBowen NY for Verizon called “Powerful Answers” actually marks the wireless carrier’s first ever corporate branding campaign. Set to the sounds of legendary composer Philip Glass, Verizon veers from the usual Wireless and/or FiOS promotion to, according to parties involved, “showcase tech solutions that no one knew they did.” As you can see in the spot directed by Park Pictures’ Lance Acord above as well as the anthem clip below, some Verizon folks are lab rats whose tech prowess translates into solutions for medical emergencies just as easily as they could the classroom. We didn’t know there was side to them, but hey, you learn something new every day. Exhaustive list of credits after the jump.
From Mcgarrybowen comes the above saccharine spot, a 3-minute long opus for Verizon that gets people from across the country the perform a lip-dub to “Jingle Bell Rock.”
Out of duty to AgencySpy readers, Mediabistro, and my fellow man, I eventually watched (almost) the entire thing. However, on my first try, I made it to the 41-second mark. Can you do better? Leave your time in the comments.
Yes, romantic comedies are formulaic. Yes, everyone is aware of this. Yes, it is because everyone is a aware of this that romantic comedies are frequently the subject of parody and criticism from almost everyone. But, just because making fun of rom-coms isn’t exactly an original thought doesn’t mean Mcgarrybowen Chicago is going to shy away from resurrecting the everyone’s favorite “run-through-the-airport-for-your-true-love” trope in “Connecting Flights,” the agency’s new holiday spot for Sears.
Now, just because making fun of romantic comedies has become as formulaic as the genre itself doesn’t mean your mom isn’t going to laugh her ass off when she sees our handsome beau eat shit on a refrigerator. In fact, I would hypothesize that it’s the most ardent fans of rom-coms that are also the most ardent fans of rom-com parodies. And, admit it, you chuckled a little bit too, because people getting hurt is always comedy gold. Always.
I know many of you were hoping that Mcgarrybowen would reinvent the wheel when it won Sears last spring, and judging by some of the comments here, you’ve been less than satisfied with the results. But, hey, this is a silly holiday ad targeting moms and the dads who love them. Can’t we all get together over a nice Christmas goose, peppermint-flavored hot chocolate, and each other’s company to watch pretty people slam into refrigerators face-first? Credits after the jump.
Well, here was the one line we received at precisely 12:11 pm today: “Translation was just handed the bud light account from Paul Chibe.” Chibe, if you didn’t know, is CMO of Bud Light parent, Anheuser-Busch InBev. Seeing as we just interviewed Steve Stoute for an upcoming Media Beat (which will post in two weeks), we’ve reached out to get some sort of reaction from the Translation boss or someone at his agency regarding the reports that the Bud Light account is now solely in its hands. Considering that Stoute & Co. are also involved with a Budweiser festival called “Made in America in a few weeks that will include Jay-Z and Pearl Jam among a ton of other acts, we’re not taking it as a big shock that A-B InBev would be expanding its relationship with the New York-based Translation.
If you recall, Translation and McGarryBowen were both handed the Bud Light business last December. We’re now hearing that another major account could be leaving McGB in the near future, but we’ll keep schtum until we learn more.
Update: Here’s a quick comment from Translation president Leeann Leahy regarding its AOR status: “We’re thrilled to have earned Bud Light’s trust since having been awarded a large portion of the business in mid-December. We look forward to doing more great work for this ambitious client.”
Well, the tips we’ve been receiving since last Thursday have proven to be true (like most of the time) as Jamie Shuttleworth has left his chief strategy officer post at Draftfcb Chicago to take on the CSO role at McGarryBowen’s Windy City office, which we’re hearing has been without a proper planning/strategy head for nearly a year.
Shuttleworth’s time with DFCB dates back to the days of Foote Cone & Belding, which he joined in 1997. According to a statement from a Draft spokesperson, since that time, “Jamie has had a tremendous impact on our agency. His greatest legacy is the best-in-class planning capabilities he has put in place and the many great people he has trained who will carry on in his absence. We thank Jamie for his many contributions to our company, and wish him continued success.”
As a result of Shuttleworth’s departure, DFCB Chi has promoted John Kenny, who has spent the last six years at the agency and most recently served as SVP, group director of strategic planning, to head of the strategic planning practice. Vita Harris, meanwhile, continues in her role as Draftfcb worldwide chief strategy officer.
Yesterday, we received a memo sent by Gordon Bowen that announced the promotion of Brandon Cooke, who has spent the last two-plus years at McGarryBowen as director of business development in the New York office. Well, it looks like Cooke’s title just got a little fancier as he will now serve as managing director, global business development. Here, let ol’ Gordon explain and read the rest of the memo after the jump:
“As we expand our global network with the opening of the London and Dusseldorf mcgarrybowen offices–with more to come–we are making an important change in how we approach New Business development. While each mcgarrybowen office will continue to have their own New Business lead, we are pleased to announce that Brandon Cooke will now be responsible for global new business development for prospective clients whose business requires multiple offices from the mcgarrybowen network working in concert. Effective today, I am proud to announce a new title for Brandon Cooke, which is Managing Director, Global Business Development. Brandon will report directly to me in this new position.
We’re rather enjoying this little back-and-forth between McGarryBowen and Droga5, the latter of which of course just “announced” this week that it lost its own holiday card business to the former. Well, as you can see from the Facebook pic above, the McGB camp is glad to welcome the Droga5 account to its ever-growing portfolio. Why don’t they just unite, call it McGarryDroga and get it over with.
We couldn’t resist leaving you tonight with this pretty amusing “announcement” from Droga5, which states that McGarryBowen picked up the Droga5 holiday card account. Yes, in case you haven’t heard about it by now, this is the Drogas’ way of taking the piss a bit this holiday season and it’s a nice follow-up to last year’s full-page ad in the Australian that the agency took out to encourage the industry to have more fun. The “release” nicely captures the tone you’d see in any AdAge report regarding account wins and proves Droga5 has a sense of humor even after losing Bud Light to McGarryBowen.
Read it verbatim after the jump.