Sunday, January 25, 2015

12435: Publicis.Sapient Delayed.

Nasdaq GlobeNewswire posted a press release announcing Publicis Groupe extended the deadline of its tender offer to purchase Sapient in order to allow for certain required approvals. The deal must now be consummated by February 5, which leaves folks a few weeks to reconsider the $3.7 billion drunken decision by Publicis Groupe CEO Maurice Lévy. At least Sapient employees—including the 13,000 staffers in India—can rest assured there will be no layoffs if the acquisition happens. However, they can’t rest assured there will be no organizational changes, as a leadership cluster-fuck has already been plotted.

Publicis Groupe Extends Tender Offer to Acquire Sapient until February 5, 2015


PARIS, Jan. 23, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Publicis Groupe [Euronext Paris: FR0000130577, CAC40] (“Publicis”) today announced that it has extended its previously announced tender offer to purchase all of the outstanding shares of common stock of Sapient Corporation (NASDAQ: SAPE) (“Sapient”) for $25.00 per share in cash (the “Offer”). The Offer will now expire at the end of the day, immediately after 11:59 p.m., New York City time, on February 5, 2015, unless it is further extended. All other terms and conditions of the Offer remain unchanged.

The completion of the Offer is subject to certain customary terms and conditions. As previously disclosed, the mandatory waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, as amended, has expired and the Offer has been cleared unconditionally under the German Act Against Restraints of Competition. The Offer has been extended to allow additional time for the satisfaction of the CFIUS Condition and the FOCI Mitigation Plan Condition, each as defined in the Offer to Purchase dated November 12, 2014, as amended, and other related materials by which the Offer is being made.

Computershare Trust Company, N.A., the depositary for the Offer, has advised Publicis that as of 5:00 p.m., New York City time, on January 22, 2015, approximately 113,602,382 shares of common stock of Sapient have been validly tendered and not withdrawn pursuant to the Offer, representing approximately 80.6% of Sapient’s outstanding shares. Shareholders who have already tendered their shares of common stock of Sapient do not have to re-tender their shares or take any other action as a result of the extension of the Offer.

About Publicis Groupe Publicis Groupe [Euronext Paris FR0000130577, CAC 40] is one of the world’s leading communications groups. The Groupe offers a full range of services and skills: digital (DigitasLBi, Razorfish, Rosetta, VivaKi, Nurun), advertising (BBH, Leo Burnett, Publicis Worldwide, Saatchi & Saatchi), public affairs, corporate communications and events (MSLGROUP), media strategy, planning and buying (Starcom MediaVest Group and ZenithOptimedia), healthcare communications, with Publicis Healthcare Communications Group (PHCG), and finally, brand asset production with Prodigious. Present in 108 countries, the Groupe employs more than 64,000 professionals

Saturday, January 24, 2015

12434: No Más Salt, Taco Bell!

USA TODAY reported on the quiet campaign from Taco Bell to reduce the salt in menu items. It certainly is a quiet campaign when viewed alongside loud promotions for food-like stuff featuring Doritos and Fritos.

“We have done the right thing. We have done the moral thing,” proclaimed Taco Bell CEO Greg Creed. “What we haven’t done is toot our horn. No one out there suspects we have done it because we haven’t changed the taste.” Hmmm. There are lots of contradictions in Creed’s statement. The CEO said Taco Bell didn’t “toot our horn,” which implies being humble; yet he also said, “No one out there suspects…” which implies being deceitful. Is it possible to do “the moral thing” without being honest? Plus, why act with such grandiosity when “the right thing” is essentially conforming to recommended standards? Creed admits it’s tough for fast feeders to sell healthy food and make a profit. On the flipside, why should places like Taco Bell be allowed to knowingly sell unhealthy food without facing public and even legal scrutiny?

The Fourth Meal fans will undoubtedly argue that people have the inalienable right to consume whatever they wish—oblivious to the scientific evidence proving salt is addictive. Fast-food restaurants that offer healthy menu items in addition to the unhealthy fare are not much different than Big Tobacco financing anti-smoking campaigns and Big Booze financing drunk-driving campaigns. Indeed, at some point, Taco Bell and its peers should be forced to develop healthy eating campaigns—and the messages better not be quiet.

Taco Bell reduces salt in quiet campaign

By Jere Downs, The (Louisville, Ky.) Courier-Journal

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Taco Bell’s menu is packing less salt, 15 percent less on average since 2009, the result of a stealthy campaign by Yum! Brands CEO Greg Creed.

“We have done the right thing. We have done the moral thing,” Creed said when asked how Yum! is responding to consumer demand for healthier fare. “What we haven’t done is toot our horn. No one out there suspects we have done it because we haven’t changed the taste.”

Taco Bell’s sodium reduction was part of a Yum effort to make 15 percent of its menu items at the chain — as well as at Pizza Hut and KFC — conform to recommended mealtime limits for it, sugar and fats by the end of the year.

And by 2020, Yum wants 20 percent of its menu items to land at or below the limits, chief nutrition officer Jonathan Blum said. The idea is that if consumers eat three meals per day, one of those three meals at a KFC, Taco Bell or Pizza Hut can satisfy one third of the recommended daily allowances.

The initiative “is a bold goal across the globe,” Blum said, adding that the objective is to reduce salt without losing flavor or market share.

“We don’t want it to be perceptible,” he said. “We just want to improve ingredients.”

The increasing public debate about the health consequences of fast food appears to be driving sodium down at other chains. At McDonald’s, for instance, the Big Mac and Quarter Pounder with Cheese sandwiches have dropped their sodium levels between 7 percent and 8 percent, respectively, since 2011. Each McDonald’s burger contains five salt packets each, at 960 and 1,100 milligrams respectively.

But critics say that in some instances, Taco Bell’s efforts fall short. Even though the Steak Burrito Supreme now stands at 1,090 milligrams of sodium instead of 1,340, that much salt in a single blast is still not good for you, said Michael Jacobson, co-founder and executive director of the Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest.

The Steak Burrito Supreme “has a long way to go to get to a healthy level,” Jacobson said.

The human body requires just 200 milligrams of sodium daily to balance electrolytes and other bodily functions, according to the American Heart Association. But Americans take in 3,463 milligrams of sodium daily, or about 1½ teaspoons of salt, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

Yum’s nutrition goals for 2015 and 2020 are “not terribly ambitious,” Jacobson added. “Couldn’t a restaurant have at least half of its products be reasonably healthy?

“At least nutrition is on their radar screen,” he said, adding Taco Bell’s progress is an example of “creeping awareness into the sector.”

Creed, who became Yum’s CEO following a long stint as Taco Bell’s chief, said consumers may shun foods if they are advertised as low salt or otherwise good for you.

“People don’t want the taste to change,” Creed said in an interview this month. “If I came out and said ‘new low sodium Taco Bell,’ some people will think it will taste like you know what, and they are not going to come.”

And for most diners at a Louisville-area Taco Bell on Tuesday, salt wasn’t a concern.

“I like the Gordita Crunch. The sauce is really good,” said Anthony Gardner, 26, of Radcliffe. “It tastes good, so I eat it.”

“I like the salt,” said his brother, Michael Gardner, 32, adding that the pair eat lunch at Taco Bell three or four times a month. “I will probably care about salt a little later in life.”

Exactly how and where the salt has come off Taco Bell’s menu remains a trade secret. During his tenure at the helm of Taco Bell, Creed said he scrutinized all ingredient categories.

“We pulled sodium out of everything, tortillas, beef, marinade for chicken, fire sauce,” he said. “There is not an ingredient that we haven’t pulled sodium out of.”

The numbers show Taco Bell cut salt by one third in 33 menu items between 2009 to 2015. That includes the Grilled Steak Soft Taco, which has 490 milligrams of sodium, a 31 percent decline from its 710 milligrams in 2009, and the Cheesy Bean & Rice Burrito, which has 490 milligrams of sodium, a 32 percent decrease from 1,370 six years ago.

Foods dramatically reduced in sodium at Taco Bell also seem to have a soft tortilla. They include the Fresco Grilled Steak Soft Taco (440 milligrams of sodium for a 27 percent drop from 600), and the Chicken Burrito, (960 milligrams of sodium, a 24 percent change from 1,260.)

And while overall progress takes place at Taco Bell, some new menu additions go the other way. The Doritos Cheesy Gordita Crunch line, for example, contains nearly 900 milligrams of sodium in each variation.

Blum, Yum’s nutrition chief, said high-sodium items like the Doritos Gorditas at Taco Bell, or other salty fare at KFC or Pizza Hut “are absolutely delicious and products I love to eat.” Consumers can be applauded, he added, “for the choices that they make, as long as they have the information and education about what to consume.”

Nancy Kuppersmith, a registered dietician with University of Louisville Physicians, took a more jaded view. Patients that she treats for obesity, diabetes and heart disease commonly eat fast food for one meal per day, she said. Extra sodium in fast food menus, she said, just makes them crave more than is good for them.

“It makes the food taste better if you put salt on it. It masks other flavors that might not be so good,” Kuppersmith said. “Will sodium stimulate me to eat more so I might buy more? Absolutely.”

Creed said competing against other fast food chains who may not be lowering sodium, means retaining sodium levels in some favorites while also offering a variety for consumers seeking healthier options, Creed said.

That’s why Taco Bell’s more nutrient-dense, and lower-sodium Fresco and Cantina menu options “are not the best-sellers,” Creed said. “But they need to be available.”

“Our customers are demanding it,” he said. “You don’t have to be Einstein to see this whole trend of transparency and authentic and genuine going forward.”

12433: @AFFRM Action.

Hat tip to Hadji Williams for pointing out @AFFRM—African American Film Festival Releasing Movement—originally launched by Ava DuVernay. The website states: Anchored by the passion + prowess of a collective of black film organizations, @AFFRM + Array Releasing empower black independent filmmakers with theatrical and multi-platform distribution.

@AFFRM is definitely worth watching—and supporting.

12432: Starbucks Toasts MLK.

Pardon the tardiness, but check out the MLK advertisement from Starbucks. As the coffee seller has done well with diversity, the message shouldn’t be viewed as patronizing like most MLK tributes. Hey, at least Starbucks didn’t offer free Black coffee on MLK Day.

12431: Grey’s Generational Segregation.

PSFK reported Grey Advertising has segregated its office space based on generational differences. Business Insider published a companion piece on the matter, drawing comments from curious and annoyed readers. At first blush, Base Camp looks like a bad idea, especially as collaboration continues to be a big deal in the industry. While Grey insists the separate area fosters collaboration, how does collaboration happen across generational groups? It’s one thing to offer perks or programs to appeal to various employee segments—and even to provide special accommodations for specific employees (e.g., nursing areas for mothers, smoking areas, etc.). Physically segregating workers by age, however, will only lead to potential discrimination. For example, what if a millennial prefers the office accommodations provided to Generation X or Boomer staffers, or vice versa? Additionally, Base Camp is ultra exclusive, as it only caters to millennial associate account executives. Then again, the industry segregates people by race and ethnicity, as evidenced by multicultural advertising agencies and cross-cultural departments. Hopefully, the kids in Base Camp aren’t experiencing the second-class citizenship that minorities face in the aforementioned silos.

Ad Agency Gives Millennial Employees Their Own Separate Space

By Adriana Krasniansky

Grey Advertising shifts the traditional agency setup by giving millennials their own wing

The Millennial Generation, defined roughly as individuals born between 1980 and 2000, now represents 25% of the United States population. Its 80 million members hold over $200 billion in annual buying power, and they are the most coveted audience for businesses looking to remain relevant in a saturated consumer market. Grappling between millennials’ formidability and their shifting values, many companies are forced to ask: how do we approach today’s most powerful generation?

Grey Advertising, AdWeek’s 2014 Agency of the Year, asked itself just that. The agency, which employs over 1,000 individuals, indicates that 48% of its workforce falls into the millennial generation. In the past several years, Grey management noticed that millennials entering the office worked differently than their colleagues: they were more informal in communication, thrived on collaboration, and yearned for a work community.

In response, Grey adjusted by setting up an entirely separate office space for Generation Y employees. In their New York offices, Grey created Base Camp, a work environment exclusively for millennial associate account executives. While each employee still works with a separate team on client accounts, the group as a whole shares desk space, attends agency training in group, and learns from one another.

As a representative from Grey explains, “The philosophy behind the Base Camp community was to create an environment that gives structure, but creates self-sufficiency [and] encourages relationship building with key learnings more readily shared.”

Grey’s Base Camp initiative comes at a time when several of the agency’s clients—including Gillette, Papa Johns, and Marriott—are transitioning to include millennials in their core marketing base. By adapting to millennials within their own offices, Grey establishes itself as a agency aware of millennial needs and one willing to adapt to them.

As Michael Houston, CEO of Grey North America, tells PSFK: “The key to me about the Base Camp movement is that we’re learning from this group rather than showing them how we’ve previously worked. We’re working to understand their organic tendencies.”

Houston stresses that the millennial office space does not value one work style above another, but fosters different styles of creative thinking in the office. “Different is not necessarily bad,” he says, “But different is different…millennials are hard workers. They just work differently.”

12430: Dumb Woman Perspective.

Campaign published The year ahead for women by Thinkbox CEO and Wacl VP Lindsey Clay. The article title should have added a qualifier to read, “The year ahead for White women,” as Clay is only concerned with her Caucasian sisters—and she probably doesn’t give a shit about non-White people.

As evidence of Clay’s ignorance, when presenting “facts” on the imbalanced representation of groups within adland, she acknowledged that women comprise 50 percent of the industry’s workforce, while minorities make up 13 percent—despite the fact that minorities account for 55 percent of the population in urban centers like London. In other words, White women are making tremendous strides in the UK advertising world, and minorities remain grossly underrepresented.

Of course, Clay is quick to disregard the greater diversity dilemma and charge right into advocating for gender equality (at least for White women). She offered seven solutions for increasing White women numbers and zero clues for boosting non-White figures. The seven solutions directly apply to creating equality for non-Whites too, but don’t expect Clay to realize it. And definitely don’t count on Clay to suggest redirecting her ideas to the real problem. Because in the end, Clay is completely equal to the average Mad Man—especially in her cultural cluelessness.

12429: Ernie Banks (1931-2015).

From The Chicago Tribune…

Ernie Banks, legendary ‘Mr. Cub,’ dead at 83

By Fred Mitchell, Chicago Tribune

Ernie Banks, one of baseball’s most ebullient and optimistic ambassadors, died Friday, his wife, Liz, confirmed.

Known worldwide as “Mr. Cub,” Banks became the Cubs’ first African-American player on Sept. 17, 1953, and went on to become an 11-time All-Star and two-time National League Most Valuable Player (1958-59). His boundless enthusiasm and optimism personified what it meant to be a Cubs fan.

Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts released the following statement Friday night:

“Words cannot express how important Ernie Banks will always be to the Chicago Cubs, the city of Chicago and Major League Baseball. He was one of the greatest players of all time. He was a pioneer in the major leagues. And more importantly, he was the warmest and most sincere person I’ve ever known. Approachable, ever optimistic and kind-hearted, Ernie Banks is and always will be Mr. Cub. My family and I grieve the loss of such a great and good-hearted man, but we look forward to celebrating Ernie’s life in the days ahead.”

Mayor Rahm Emanuel also released a statement in praise of Banks.

“Ernie Banks was more than a baseball player. He was one of Chicago’s greatest ambassadors,” Emanuel said. “He loved this city as much as he loved — and lived for — the game of baseball. This year during every Cubs game, you can bet that No.14 will be watching over his team. And if we’re lucky, it’ll be a beautiful day for not just one ballgame, but two.”

Banks, who hit 512 home runs and had 1,636 RBIs, was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1977.

Renowned for his sunny disposition, Banks, 83, loved the game and often proclaimed: “Let’s play two!” even when the Cubs struggled to climb out of the National League basement. On Nov. 20, 2013, Banks was awarded a Presidential Medal of Freedom during ceremonies at the White House in recognition of his goodwill.

When first notified that he would be receiving the award, Banks said: “It means everything to me. It means life is just wonderful. When you do things to try to help people and share things, it really comes back to you. I try to do that. I love the players, love Wrigley Field, love all the players. … This award means a lot to me. It’s almost like the Nobel Peace Prize to me.”

In 1950, Banks began playing for the Kansas City Monarchs of the Negro leagues. After serving two years in the military, he joined the Cubs.

Banks’ best overall season was 1959 when he led the NL with 143 RBIs and hit 43 home runs. Defensively, he led all shortstops with a .985 fielding percentage. In 1960 he won a Gold Glove at shortstop. He hit more than 40 homers five times, including 47 in 1958. In 1955 he hit a record five grand slams. Banks played his entire career with the Cubs and is considered one of the greatest players of all time not to play in the postseason.

Banks played more games at first base (1,259) than he did at shortstop (1,125), but he is remembered more for his most productive younger seasons at shortstop.

“It was just a pleasure playing with Ernie. I can’t say it was a pleasure playing against him,” said former Cubs pitcher Milt Pappas, who also pitched for the Orioles, Reds and Braves during his 17-year career. “He was so genuine. He was just a great ambassador for the game.”

A statue of Banks’ likeness was unveiled near the corner of Clark and Addison outside of Wrigley Field at the start of the 2008 baseball season.

“When I am not here, this will be here,” Banks joked after the ceremony as he pointed to the sculpture.

“I wanted to finish my career with one team, in one city, one mayor, one park, one owner. I did that,” Banks said then. “The Wrigleys owned the team. We played all of our home games at Wrigley Field during the daytime. So my career was very unique and I am proud of it. I have been involved in the city of Chicago and with Little Leagues all around the city and suburbs. It was a fun and enjoyable time both on the field and off the field. Now I meet a lot of people who used to come out to Wrigley Field when they were kids and they are older now. They still remember those days.”

Banks was born in Dallas on Jan. 31, 1931. His father had just a third-grade education and his mother a sixth-grade education.

“But they were very wise,” Banks would say.

Friday, January 23, 2015

12428: Every Little Crony Helps.

Business Insider reported on the Tesco account being reassigned from Wieden+Kennedy to Bartle Bogle Hegarty, revealing there was Corporate Cultural Collusion involved. Turns out Tesco CEO Dave Lewis and BBH Global CEO Neil Munn are mates. Imagine that. Even the top White advertising agencies can’t win business fair and square on talent alone.

12427: Hershey’s White Shops Bliss.

Adweek reported Hershey is searching for more White advertising agencies to add to its roster. Given that the current stable features dead horses—Arnold and Havas—it’s safe to say the exercise will not require high creative standards.

Anna Lingeris, senior manager, brand public relations and consumer engagement at Hershey, provided comments to confirm a cluster-fuck is coming.

“We’re not looking to replace Arnold and Havas, which have been doing a great job,” said Lingeris. “But we have over 20 advertised brands, and we’re looking to supplement.” Yes, more opinions and committees are sure to improve the advertising communications.

Lingeris also said Hershey is currently meeting exclusively with U.S. White contenders, but global capabilities might be important—especially in markets such as China. Oh boy, that means Crispin Porter + Bogusky is a shoo-in!

Additionally, Lingeris admitted ignorance surrounding the number of new White agencies that could be enlisted or how brand assignments would be shifted between shops. And Hershey is not letting a consultant run the process. In other words, there’s no solid plan or vision for proceeding.

Two things are certain: 1) There will be no “chocolate” contenders in the competition, and; 2) Hershey is nuttier than a mishmash of Hershey’s Milk Chocolate with Almonds, MR. GOODBAR and REESE’S Peanut Butter Cups.

Hershey Will Add to Its Roster of Creative Agencies

Ready to expand beyond Arnold, Havas

By Noreen O’Leary

The Hershey Co. has launched a search to expand its agency roster beyond Arnold and Havas Worldwide.

The confectionery giant is in the early stages of meeting with agencies, confirmed Anna Lingeris, senior manager, brand public relations and consumer engagement at Hershey.

“We’re not looking to replace Arnold and Havas, which have been doing a great job,” she said. “But we have over 20 advertised brands, and we’re looking to supplement.”

Lingeris said the search is focused on U.S. contenders, but given that some of them have global networks, the parameters of the expanded-roster assignments could become global. The company has made global growth a major priority, especially in markets like China.

While worldwide media spending was not immediately available, in the U.S. alone Hershey spent more than $650 million in 2013 and $565 million in the first nine months of last year, according to Kantar Media.

Lingeris also didn’t know yet how many new agencies could be brought on board or how brand assignments at Arnold and Havas would be shifted once additional shops are retained. Hershey is not using a consultant in the process, and Lingeris said the search has already been winnowed to a group of contenders.

Hershey’s U.S. account, which Arnold New York won in 2005, is the office’s largest client, accounting for some 40 percent to 50 percent of revenue, sources said. Havas Worldwide has handled digital and a considerable amount of global business.

Hershey has been reviewing its communications relationships with partners in recent years. In late 2012, the marketer launched a media agency review, with that business shifting the following year to Interpublic Group’s UM. Last summer, Hershey completed a PR agency review, signing up a number of firms after previously working with agencies on a project basis.

12426: Why AgencySpy Will Die.

A recent MultiCultClassics post examined the Adweek Blog Network, pointing out how the updated AgencySpy was fucked up on multiple levels. A recent AgencySpy post confirmed the contentions, as one of the editorial chimps—Patrick Coffee—tried to explain what was going on with the site. In a Q&A format, monkey boy included the following:

Did you kill the comments forever??

Agency PR people will be very disappointed to learn that the answer is no. It’s true that Disqus has been inconsistent this week, but it should be back to normal by next week — and as soon as it starts behaving, you can resume commenting as you see fit…with the understanding that we can delete and blacklist you if you get especially nasty or impersonate other people.

This statement underscores the ignorance of Coffee and crew, as well as ensures the inevitable demise of AgencySpy.

First, the disclaimer about the chimps’ prerogative to “delete or blacklist” comments and comment creators is pathetic. If AgencySpy wants to dictate such rules, why not make it public and specific versus simply allowing the chimps to make editorial judgments on their own?

Second, the new layout demonstrates the stupidity of the site owners. As everyone knows, AgencySpy exists for comments. To hide the comments and require visitors to scroll through useless content to access them shows the designers have zero UX skills. More importantly, it proves the site owners do not grasp the basic appeal of AgencySpy.

Third, if the true goal is to transform AgencySpy into a legitimate trade journal, then the chimps must be replaced with competent reporters. Plus, someone will have to strategize a fresh perspective to offer. Given the fact that Adweek has struggled to be relevant over the years, it’s odd that anyone in the Adweek Blog Network might believe introducing a poor-man’s version of a trade journal is a good idea. It’s Advertising 101: If you don’t have a unique selling proposition, you won’t succeed.

Oh, and if you insist on letting the chimps rule—as opposed to hiring writers capable of delivering original content—don’t be surprised when visitors fling poop and abandon the smelly zoo.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

12425: Havas Delivers Cronyism.

Adweek reported Havas Worldwide gobbled the Edible Arrangements account without a review. The AOR appointment was fueled by a past professional relationship between new Edible Arrangements CMO Rob Price and Havas Worldwide CEO Andrew Benett. “There’s something to be said for relationships,” stated Benett. “But it wasn’t just a relationship. We earned it.” Spoken like a true Corporate Cultural Collusion enthusiast. But that’s to be expected from someone enjoying the privileges of a White advertising agency running on nepotism, cronyism and other assorted isms. Heaven forbid Benett should think talent might influence an account assignment. Havas and its new client have an edible arrangement—and it’s a big bowl of bullshit.

How Havas Worldwide Won the Edible Arrangements Account Without a Pitch

A former client and some solid project work made an RFP unnecessary

By Andrew McMains

Score one for leveraging past relationships.

In 2010, when Havas Worldwide CEO Andrew Benett was CEO of sister shop Arnold, that agency pitched and won CVS’ creative account. The retailer’s chief marketing officer at the time was Rob Price.

Flash forward to 2014: Price becomes president of Edible Arrangements and hires Havas to handle some projects, based in part on his familiarity with Benett. The agency completed the projects at the end of 2014, and now the retailer has handed the shop its entire creative account without a review.

“There’s something to be said for relationships,” Benett said. “But it wasn’t just a relationship. We earned it.”

Had the projects not gone well, he said, Havas obviously wouldn’t have won the whole account.

The assignment includes traditional and digital ads and some public relations responsibilities. Media spending on the brand exceeded $22 million in 2013, down from about $29 million in 2012, according to Kantar Media.

As lead creative agency, Havas succeeds The Richards Group, which had worked on Edible Arrangements since 2013. Media responsibilities are not shifting and remain at Horizon Media in New York.

Havas’ New York office will manage the business. Its first work as lead shop will be a Valentine’s Day campaign that will break early next month.

12424: Young Lions, Old Concept.

This Cannes campaign from Koenig & Partners in Ecuador inadvertently underscores the problem with awards shows; that is, the participants appear to be exclusively White (although maybe the individuals depicted were intended to be Ecuadorian). The heavy references to Caucasian-Eurocentric history extend the exclusivity. Hell, recognizing Young Lions is technically exclusionary too—and the pierced and tattooed characters are so contrived. To top it all off, it’s another example of award show advertising that doesn’t deserve to win an award.

From Ads of the World.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

12423: Us V Them R Jackasses.

Campaign reported on an initiative from Anomaly London Executive Creative Directors Oil Beale and Alex Holder that ultimately shows: 1) Anomaly is a shitty creative shop, and; 2) Beale and Holder are ignorant assholes.

The dim-witted duo shat out Us V Them “to start a movement, one that engages and galvanises as much of the creative community as possible to fight bad guys.” The first villain to face the wrath of Us V Them is Big Tobacco.


First, the video for the maiden effort is a poor man’s version of a Truth concept. To call it uninspired and unoriginal would be an understatement. Despite Anomaly’s contention that it’s not an advertising agency, the place continues to produce crap that looks and smells like advertising excreted from the buttholes of the most hackneyed adpeople in the field.

Second, why the hell is Anomaly attacking Big Tobacco? The shop just picked up the Johnnie Walker account and has serviced Budweiser too. Sorry, but Big Tobacco is just as heinous as Big Booze. To condemn one while conspiring with the other demonstrates hypocrisy of the highest order.

If Beale and Holder want to identify real bad guys, they need only gaze into the nearest mirror. Hey, why chase after the scoundrels of society that are already being battled by creative forces? Display true courage and confront the diversity dilemma that has plagued the US and UK advertising industries for too long. Let White adpeople like Beale and Holder lead the charge against discrimination and exclusivity for a change. Now that would constitute a bona fide anomaly.

Oli Beale and Alex Holder seek fellow creatives to tackle major social issues

By James Swift

The executive creative directors at Anomaly London are inviting fellow creatives to band together and use their skills to “fight bad guys” and have released their own ad targeting the tobacco industry.

Oil Beale and Alex Holder have launched a website for their independent crusading initiative, which they have called Us V Them.

They hope to establish a creative community whose members will meet every few months to pick a cause or target and can work anonymously if they choose.

Beale and Holder have already made Big Tobacco the target of Us V Them’s first work.

To address the problem of children smoking, they created a film called I Can’t Wait Till You’re Legal, which is designed to be shared with teenagers on their 14th birthday.

It opens on a fictional tobacco executive who, addressing the camera, gives a speech about counting the days until the teenager is “legal” before launching into a creepy rendition of Happy Birthday.

The film, which is not backed by any brand or organisation, was directed by Sara Dunlop through Rattling Stick.

Beale said: “The creative industry’s stock in trade is bringing about behaviour change.

“If we use those skills for good, we can make a valuable contribution to addressing some major social issues.

“With Us V Them we want to start a movement, one that engages and galvanises as much of the creative community as possible to fight bad guys.

“I don’t mind if we’re seen as idealists or naive, this is our way of at least trying to make a difference. This is about doing something useful.”

Beale and Holder joined Anomaly from Mother in 2013. Some of the pair’s most high-profile campaigns include ‘Make Them Pay’ for Elle magazine, which encourages women to find out how much they were paid compared with male colleagues.

They also worked on the Kaiser Chief’s customisable album, The Future Is Medieval.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

12422: Hillary Clinton’s Mad Politics.

Advertising Age reported that Hillary Clinton is likely tapping advertising executives—specifically, GSD&M Chairman Emeritus Roy Spence and Coca-Cola Marketing Executive and former GSD&M Director of Client Services Wendy Clark—to help craft messages for her potential presidential campaign.

Now, it’s not uncommon for politicians to employ adpeople to help persuade and woo voters. For example, Hal Riney hatched the iconic “Morning in America” commercial for Ronald Reagan in 1984. Ad Age opined the following:

Should Ms. Clinton run, her purpose would be to leverage her strengths as an experienced political pro with a large base of female support, while crafting a message that appeals to a wide swath of Americans tired of politics-as-usual. Ms. Clark, a political outsider who has worked on mass-marketed brands, might bring valuable experience to the table in that endeavor.

If Ad Age’s supposition is accurate, one has to wonder about Clinton’s initial choices from adland, especially in regards to the goal of concocting “a message that appeals to a wide swath of Americans…” Sorry, but the overwhelming majority of White advertising executives are culturally clueless, rendering them incapable of effectively and honestly addressing the true, diverse American public.

Consider the fact that Spence masterminded the inane “3 a.m.” commercial during Clinton’s 2008 bid for the Democratic nomination. The spot received lots of criticism and ridicule—and most importantly, it failed to move Clinton ahead of Barack Obama. Additionally, Spence is among those wonderful folks who gave you Annie the Chicken Queen for Popeyes. In short, GSD&M is hardly the home of inclusive, enlightened thinkers, which makes enlisting Spence and Clark a pretty risky and probably reckless decision.

This isn’t the first time MultiCultClassics has wondered about the use of advertising executives as political strategists and executioners. Indeed, do representatives of an industry that continues to make diversity a dream deferred and denied deserve to service a presidential candidate? If Clinton really wants to speak to “Americans tired of politics-as-usual,” she ought to reconsider business as usual with modern Mad Men and Mad Women.

12421: I Have A Slider.

Adfreak presented brands saluting MLK on Twitter. You’d think White Castle wouldn’t want to touch the subject.

12420: Clio Creative Bowl Sucks.

This campaign for the Clio Creative Bowl—aside from being another example of award show advertising that isn’t worthy of winning awards—really misses the point of our business. That is, advertising is intended to appeal to target audiences. The shitty series of advertisements dismisses the audience as ignorant while positioning adpeople as the true experts in judging messages. The problem is, everyone knows the typical jurors for advertising award shows are pulled from a shallow and exclusive pool, making their judgments questionable and suspect. The predominately male and totally White jury for the Clio Creative Bowl clearly proves the problem. It’s truly pathetic. Racist and sexist too.

12419: Je Suis Ambivalent.

Scene in France

Scene in U.S.

Monday, January 19, 2015

12418: Google Glibness.

Gee, why does the MLK tribute from Google feel so patronizing and hypocritical?

12417: MLK On Madison Avenue.

Watching Selma inspired questions:

How would Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. have felt about the advertising industry’s lack of diversity?

What would MLK have thought about the decline of Black representation in adland?

How would MLK have responded to all the excuses for exclusivity?

What would MLK have said about the stereotypical “solutions” for inclusivity?

If MLK hadn’t been assassinated, would he eventually have led a march on Madison Avenue?