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Archives: February 2013

Monday Morning Stir

-To address the New York Post piece from Friday regarding Saatchi, sources familiar with the matter clarified with us late last week that the litigation involves a former Saatchi Wellness employee and NOT Saatchi & Saatchi. It looks like it’s been amended somewhat in said piece, but yes, Saatchi Wellness is a division of Publicis Healthcare Group Communications, not Saatchi itself.

-The IAB unveiled the five winning ad units of its first-ever digital video “Rising Stars” competition (one example above). link; link

-Ahsan Kahlon, who recently resigned his position as worldwide account director on Jaguar at Spark44, has taken on the role of CEO at M&C Saatchi Abu Dhabi.

-Staying in the region, the Dubai Lynx folks honored Roy Haddad, director of WPP MENA, with their 2013 Advertising Person of the Year award.

-HP has unveiled its Android-friendly Slate 7 tablet. link

-Mobile ad serving company MoPub hired 11-year Google/DoubleClick vet Kate Herbert as director of client services.

We Hear: G2 to Detach from Grey, Align with Ogilvy?

We’ve been hearing murmurs about this since early last week, and now, sources familiar with the matter fill us in on what could transpire in the coming weeks within the WPP umbrella, specifically for G2. From what we’re being told, G2–which currently operates as its own separate unit under WPP despite being born from Grey and aligned under Grey Global Group (the “parent/child” relationship was never really a thing, though, say sources)–is pretty much set to realign under WPP sibling Ogilvy and become an Ogilvy company.

Sources tell us that G2′s move to peel away from Grey has been discussed by all parties involved since late last year, but it’s been stop and start ever since. Tipsters on the Spy line, though, tell us that G2′s purported realignment was already announced at a recent town hall meeting. Whatever the case, G2′s move to Ogilvy’s New York HQ, aka “The Chocolate Factory,” doesn’t seem too far-fetched when you consider that the former’s recently installed USA CEO, Harvey Kipnis, has a relationship with the latter that dates back to 2003. We’ll try to fill in the blanks once we get some clarification and/or confirmation on the matter.

Most Popular Stories on AgencySpy from the Last 7 Days

Jameson Gives a History Lesson Featuring Damsels in Distress, Runaway Trains, and Invading Prussians

From TBWA\Chiat\Day NY and director John Hillcoat (The Road, Lawless) comes this epic spot for Jameson that turns 1800s Dublin into the Wild West. Well, I guess it’s a possibility that Dublin did resembled the American frontier during this time period, but due my education at the hands of the U.S. public school system, I have no idea. Thanks, school.

In Jameson’s recent marketing blitz, which includes a slew of outdoor ads, the brand is attempting to re-introduce its founder and namesake, John Jameson, with some personality a la Captain Morgan. Jameson is depicted as a handsome, rugged, Irishman—a cowboy dressed in what I assume is traditional Irish garb. “Iron Horse” does a great job re-introducing the character to the small screen. In traditional Spaghetti Western form, Jameson leaps from his horse to a run away train, saving precious human and whiskey cargo while keeping the viewing audience compelled all the while. (The little twist at the end was delightful as well). Given Hillcoat’s experience directing Westerns, the brand and agency knew what they wanted, and they got it.

Keeping in mind Jameson’s reputation as “that whiskey you drink because you don’t feel like paying for Jack Daniel’s,” giving John Jameson a story seems like a move in the right direction for the brand. Let’s just hope the rest of his adventures are as compelling as this.

Zimmerman, McClelland Part Ways

We’ve received confirmation that Fort Lauderdale-based, Omnicom-owned agency Zimmerman has parted ways with Jeff McClelland, who once again moved from NYC to South Florida in fall 2011 to assume the role of EVP/chief integration officer. Zimmerman would not comment beyond the fact that McClelland is no longer with the agency, including whether there are immediate plans to replace him.

The departed exec is no stranger to SoFla, having worked as president of local PR firm, Starmark, after spending three years as CEO at the now-defunct Cliff Freeman & Partners. During his two decades-plus in the ad biz, McClelland has also held senior roles on the account side at the likes of Ogilvy and kbs+.


Hammond Takes ECD Post at DDB West

Will Hammond‘s Omnicom tour continues as the senior creative, who most recently served as global CD on the Visa business while at TBWA/Chiat/Day L.A., has now joined up with fellow with DDB West as ECD on Wells Fargo. Hammond had spent three-and-a-half years at Chiat L.A. after working for approximately the same amount of time at Goodby as an ACD.

Along with the hiring of Hammond, who will be based in DDB’s L.A. office, said agency has lured Vincent Higgins (pictured) to the West Coast to serve as executive director, user experience. Higgis is in somewhat familiar territory as he’s spent the last two years serving as experience design director at Tribal DDB New York. During his career, Higgins was a founding partner at NYC-based development/graphic design firm Bluefuse and has led UX efforts at Foundry9.

Friday Morning Stir


-Google has shifted its Chrome ad duties from BBH NY to 72andSunny. Among other things, BBH says of its four-year relationship on this specific piece of biz, “This is end of our work on Chrome but we continue to work with Google on many other projects.”

-TBWA\Chiat\Day L.A. is hosting an exhibit in its lobby of sticker-bombing, Portland-based photographer, Lars Topelmann (see self-promo above). link

-Martin Agency shows its love for Mike Hughes, who’s currently in hospice care at his home. If you haven’t check out his blog here. Best wishes, sir. link

-Boston-based brand strategy/ad agency FORGE Worldwide has appointed Jeffrey Porzio to the position of executive director, digital, effective immediately.

-MDC Partners passed the $1 billion revenue mark in 2012. link

-Ten Networks has brought on former Y&R global CEO Hamish McLennan as chief executive officer/managing director. link

Kevin Durant Seduced By Villain’s Role

Kevin Durant used to be nice, but not anymore. At some point this season, the second-best player in the NBA stopped being the silent choirboy fans respected, and Nike and Wieden+Kennedy anticipated the change for their recent “KD Is Not Nice” campaign. Call it truth in advertising, because for whatever reason, Durant has really started to embrace the roll of edgy superstar.

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Hmm, So Did Grey Take Global Duties on Pringles Biz?

Here is what appears to be a note from Grey Group CEO/chairman Jim Heekin to staff. Waiting for verification on this, but in the meantime, We got the great news (and a cake!) this morning telling us we have won the global Pringles account from its new owner, Kellogg’s, a sensational blue-chip client that we’re proud to add to our roster.

“There aren’t many second acts in our business.  While we helped Procter & Gamble build Pringles into a global brand starting in 1997, we knew our chances of keeping it were slim to none.  Kellogg’s was clear that it was easier for them to put the business with their primary partner, Leo Burnett.  Particularly because they are committed to a one agency model.

Yet, our new team in N.Y. took on this uphill fight with everything they had and simply bucked all the odds.  The team developed a brilliant campaign and won Kellogg’s trust.  In the end, our new client said it was a unanimous decision for Grey.

Congratulations to everyone who gave it their all.  Your ‘Famously Effective’ winning spirit can’t be denied.”

If  you recall, parent company Kellogg called off its deal to sell off its chips brand to Diamond Foods last year. Updated: Sources close to the review have confirmed that Grey has taken over.

Calling on Lincoln to Stop Contemporary Slavery

Some days I cover couchgating, and some days I cover human rights. Both are advertisements, but one has more significance than the other. And because commercials for some activist groups attempt to sway political policies that can potentially save lives, they deserve to be held to a higher standard.

Agency barrettSF, which was founded by Jamie Barrett after he left Goodby nearly a year ago to start up his own shop, created the new two minute spot for Made In a Free World’s #ImWithLincoln campaign meant to raise awareness for slavery and human trafficking. In it, there’s a strong narrative and saturated cinematography worthy of a short film or documentary. At the very end, an over-the-shoulder angle reveals Abraham Lincoln, his presence symbolic in the shadows of a dirty basement where a young girl has been forced into sexual slavery.

The campaign’s crux is the association with Lincoln, so including his image makes sense even if it’s awkward. The real issue with the pitch stems from an oversimplification of a complex topic. Lincoln legally freed the slaves 1863, but they weren’t actually “free” until decades after. Jumping onto the Spielbergian bandwagon can help publicize “I’m with Lincoln,” but it seems that Made In a Free World really just wants more governmental funding to aid their efforts.

Undoubtedly, it’s an important cause, one that should be fought around the world, but it seems a little misguided to slap a beard and top hat onto the campaign. If the point is to free slaves outside of the U.S., drumming up support in America doesn’t make much sense. Human trafficking is already illegal. The point of the commercial should be to inspire others to raise awareness, not think about fallacies and events that happened 150 years ago. Maybe it does for some, but when I saw Lincoln in a 21st-Century setting, I was more confused than moved.