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Posts Tagged ‘WPP’

Publicis and Omnicom Join to Create Agency Supernova, Inspire Twitter Jokes

This weekend we moved a step closer to The Singularity as the world’s two largest PR/marketing/advertising groups announced plans to join, creating one unstoppable media megalith that will easily pass WPP to become the biggest, most powerful group in the history of big, powerful groups.

Together, Publicis and Omnicom include agencies from Saatchi & Saatchi and Leo Burnett to BBDO and DDB Worldwide.

On Saturday and Sunday the two companies confirmed the move and released statements from co-CEOs Maurice Levy and John Wren, who made a public appearance together; Levy said the merger started as “almost a joke” six months ago. One thing the pair didn’t do was secure the Twitter handles @OmnicomPublicis or @PublicisOmnicom, a fact that allowed a couple of industry wise guys to have a bit of fun in the wake of the announcement:

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Ford Apologizes for Kidnapping the Kardashians in Ad Spot

A note to PR/marketing folks planning to build campaigns around C-list celebrities: just because the public hates them doesn’t mean we won’t get offended on their behalf. Despite the fact that recent polling found the Kardashian family to be slightly less popular than the U.S. Congress (which boasts as dismal 9% approval rating), the Ford Motor Company still had to apologize this week for a couple of very weird overseas print ad spots, one of which depicted Kim and her sisters in a…compromising situation in the back of the brand-new compact Ford Figo driven by one Paris Hilton (ugh).

The strangest thing about this story is probably the fact that the spot, created by Ford’s Indian ad agency WPP, was never meant to be seen by the (Indian) public.

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Spin the Agencies of Record

Because who needed that first ‘E’ anyway…

Xplore Technologies Corp., manufacturer of the world’s “most powerful, longest-lasting and rugged tablet in the market” (whatever that means), selected multiservice communications agency Waggener Edstrom Worldwide (WE) to build and share the Xplore story with key audiences. These groups include the utilities and telecommunications, oil and gas, warehousing and distribution and military markets.

Isn’t do-it-yourself air conditioning called a fan?

Following a successful initial introduction by JMPR Public Relations in 2012, IDQ Inc., the world’s leading manufacturer of automotive aftermarket air conditioning products, announced that it has once again retained JMPR as agency of record for the do-it-yourself (DIY) air conditioning brand, A/C Pro. Wait, what?

IDQ introduced A/C Pro in the spring of 2012 following more than two years of research and development. The product’s purpose? Eliminating barriers for the DIY-er who wants to perform his own automotive A/C repairs–and potentially saving drivers hundreds of dollars on expenses.

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Spin the Agencies of Record

TobleroneAfter a review, McGarryBowen‘s London office acquired the global advertising account for Toblerone, the renowned candy brand. WPP’s Ogilvy managed the account previously, and—even thought it will no longer handle the Toblerone account—it will continue to work for a new company, Mondelez, established by the division of Kraft Foods into two separate entities.

Jill Kelley, the Florida woman catapulted into fame upon being identified as the person who triggered an FBI investigation that exposed CIA Director General David Petraeus‘ extramarital affair, has hired the crisis firm Smith & Co., based in Washington, DC. Though Smith & Co. refused to comment, both USA Today and Fox News reported that Ms. Kelley and her husband, Scott, hired Smith & Co.’s founder, PR maven Judy Smith, and attorney Abbe Lowell.

WISE PR, based in New York City, has added several new clients to its roster: Control Group, an NYC-based innovation strategy firm; Spruce Media, the leading provider of enterprise-class marketing solutions for Facebook Ads; Yieldex, the leading provider of inventory and revenue management solutions for digital publishers; Dynamix, a provider of dynamic creative engagement, optimization and personalization technology, and Spindle Labs Inc., a developer of new search technology to help people discover social content.

Spin the Agencies of Record

Samsung, currently focusing on its global b-to-b marketing strategy,  added two new shops to manage advertising responsibilities. Samsung chose WPP, which will create a team specifically to handle the account; the company also selected Publicis Groupe-owned Razorfish as its new digital agency of record in an unrelated deal.

Brian Wallace, Samsung’s VP of marketing, explains, “We picked Razorfish as our digital AOR because they demonstrate the innovative thinking that we value in our agencies. We know Razorfish understands how to translate complex issues into unique and engaging customer experiences.”

Rubenstein Public Relations also announced new client wins including World Business Lenders, FiREapps and Mr. Omer Ozden. CEO Richard Rubenstein said, “Representing these leaders in the finance and real estate markets underscores our continued expansion into the business, financial and real estate public relations sectors. We are increasingly assisting more clients in elevating their profiles and business strategies by securing strategic, brand-building media coverage.”

After a lengthy review, Sears Holdings decided to retain Havas’ MPG as its top media agency. The decision means that the national marketing juggernaut, which spends heavily on advertising, will continue its relationship with MPG, which began in 2007. It also means that MPG will retain one of its most important accounts, which includes the Kmart and Sears brands.

Edelman Nabs PSB’s Berland to Head New Analytics Biz

Edelman announced today that it has hired Michael J. Berland of WPP’s Penn, Schoen & Berland Associates to act as CEO of a newly-formed research and analytics business known as Edelman Berland.

The new company will be integrated with StrategyOne, Edelman’s existing market research firm, but the StrategyOne brand will live on with current CEO Steve Lombardo working under a yet-to-be-announced title.

In announcing the hire, company CEO Richard Edelman said, “I have known and admired Mike Berland’s work for close to a decade. When it comes to fully integrating research with PR programs and partnering with both account teams and clients, he is simply the best.”

Berland, an acclaimed author and veteran strategic adviser to political figureheads like Hillary Clinton and Michael Bloomberg, most recently served as president of Washington, D.C. based PSB, where he put his market research experience to use in serving clients in politics and other fields around the world.

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WPP Reports Seven Percent Increase in PR Revenues for Q1

In addition to all the hubbub about Sir Martin Sorrell’s pay, WPP also announced its earnings for the first four months of this year. Overall, revenue is up seven percent in British pounds to £3.2 billion, up nearly five percent in U.S. dollars to about about $5.1 billion, and up nearly 11 percent in Euros to €3.9 billion. Profits and operating margin are ahead of the budget.

PR and public affairs revenue was up seven percent. WPP PR firms include Ogilvy PRBurson-Marsteller, and Hill & Knowlton.

The company says 2012 is shaping up to be much like the previous two years but with less like-for-like growth. And 2013 looks to be even more challenging with the slow down in Europe and trouble on the horizon involving Iran. For more on the quarterly earnings, click here.

The company has also released its sustainability report for 2011. More about that here.

WPP Shareholders Vote Down Sir Martin Pay Increase

A couple of weeks ago, some of WPP‘s top investors issued a “red top” alert over a proposed 30 percent increase in pay for the company’s CEO, Sir Martin Sorrell. Now, they’ve lowered the boom with 60 percent of investors voting “nay” on a proposed pay package at the company’s annual meeting in Dublin.

“The message from shareholders was unambiguous and cannot be ignored. It is now in the compensation committee’s gift to reach out to WPP’s leading shareholders to address their concerns and implement mutually acceptable pay policies and practices,” Guy Jubb, global head of governance & stewardship at Standard Life Investments, told the Financial Times.

In 2011, Sir Martin’s salary increased 30 percent to £1.3 million, with total pay increasing 60 percent to £6.8 million (about $10.6 million).

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Tech Makes a Strong Showing on Most Valuable Brands List

WPP‘s Millward Brown has released its seventh annual BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands Study and, shocking to no one, Apple tops the list. The brand is now valued at $182.9 billion. IBM has moved into the number two spot, ahead of Google. And McDonald’s is at number four, the only non-tech company to break the top five. (Facebook entered the top 20 at number 19, just below Amazon.)

Interestingly, Marlboro is at number seven, rising from number eight last year. It beat out AT&T and Verizon to round out the top 10. The total value of the top 100 is $2.4 trillion.

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Shareholders Are Losing It Over High Executive Pay

The word on the street is that WPP head Sir Martin Sorrell is getting a huge pay raise, which could stir up controversy over executive pay. It’s an issue that’s rearing its head at a number of companies, particularly at banks. (Mediapost has info about executive pay at other holding companies.)

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