Thursday, April 30, 2020

15000: Ogilvy Worldwide CEO John Seifert Searching For Success, Er, Successor.

Advertising Age reported Ogilvy Worldwide CEO John Seifert will leave the White advertising agency in 2021 as part of a succession scheme driven by WPP CEO Mark Read—who has consistently and effectively removed the success from succession during his stint behind the wheel. Seifert revealed he and Read agreed earlier in the year “that we should begin the process of searching for my eventual successor, knowing that this process takes time and thoughtful engagement with potential candidates internally and externally.” Ogilvy drones can take solace in knowing that—given the restrictions posed by the COVID-19 pandemic—their next leader will be chosen through “thoughtful engagement” via Zoom interviews. Hey, the impending appointment provides Seifert an opportunity to live up to his ADCOLOR® Change Agent title.

Ogilvy Worldwide CEO John Seifert Exiting Agency

Executive was with shop for 41 years and says it is part of a succession plan helmed by WPP CEO Mark Read

By Lindsay Rittenhouse

Ogilvy Worldwide CEO-Chairman John Seifert will be departing the agency after nearly 41 years. The move, effective in 2021, is part of a succession plan helmed by WPP CEO Mark Read, says Seifert, who noted he will lead the agency until a successor is appointed.

“In June I will have served Ogilvy for 41 years, the past five as worldwide CEO,” Seifert said in a statement. “I have worked closely with Mark Read since his appointment [as CEO] in 2018 on leadership development and succession planning across The Ogilvy Group, and that includes me as well.”

Seifert said it was decided earlier this year with Read “that we should begin the process of searching for my eventual successor, knowing that this process takes time and thoughtful engagement with potential candidates internally and externally.”

“It’s been an extraordinary privilege to serve Ogilvy since joining the company as a summer intern in 1979,” Seifert said. “I love this company with all my heart and will be forever supportive of its success.”

Seifert took over as worldwide CEO and chairman of Ogilvy, succeeding Miles Young, in 2016. When he took on the CEO role, Seifert inherited a host of legacy issues at Ogilvy similar to those that have plagued most traditional creative agencies in recent years. In 2018, Seifert led a rebrand of the agency, changing its name from Ogilvy & Mather to just Ogilvy. A year earlier, Seifert appointed a new global leadership team that included naming New York CEO Lou Aversano to CEO of the U.S.

In January of this year, Seifert announced in an internal memo obtained by Ad Age that Ogilvy would be undergoing another large-scale restructuring that would place more responsibility with regional leaders. As part of that effort, Ogilvy parted ways with U.S. Chief Creative Officer Leslie Sims. At that time, the agency laid off 80 employees across nine offices due to “a challenging second half in 2019 and a cautious financial outlook for full-year 2020,” Seifert said in the memo.

On an episode of Ad Age Ad Lib that same month, Read acknowledged the pressures unique to the holding company, as well as those affecting the larger industry. “If I have one frustration, it’s still somehow that we’re seen as an old-fashioned advertising agency that’s being disrupted by Google and Facebook,” he said.

Read said 2020 would see WPP focusing on returning to growth in North America—surely a goal that has been disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic—and on championing a new creative strategy to sustain the company for the future. He noted that creativity, across its various brands, has not been WPP’s strong suit.

In July of 2019, Seifert came under fire, including from the agency’s employees, over Ogilvy’s work with U.S. Customs and Border Protection. According to recordings of a July 9 meeting with employees leaked to Buzzfeed, Seifert defended the work after employees complained that children had died in CPB custody. Buzzfeed reported that Seifert said the government contract is a “prestigious piece of business” and that the CBP “itself is not a bad organization.”

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

14999: Wendy Clark’s ‘Dear John Letter’ Apparently Not Well-Received By John Wren.

Campaign reported Omnicom President and CEO John Wren—while speaking on the holding company’s Q1 earnings call—took a moment to rip former DDB Global CEO Wendy Clark for bailing out and joining Dentsu Aegis Network. Wren remarked, “We were a bit shocked and put off when Wendy Clark decided that she was going to move on in the middle of a crisis.” It wasn’t clear, however, if Wren’s “crisis” was in reference to the COVID-19 pandemic or DDB’s business woes, which include major client losses.

But honestly, why is Wren whining? Over the years, the man has demonstrated that people and places are interchangeable cogs in the Omnicom outhouse. Indeed, the holding companies have completely commoditized creativity and cultures—the latter remaining predominately Caucasian despite the mumbo jumbo mouthed by Wren and Clark.

Perhaps Wren was feeling cranky because Clark’s hasty exit actually stalls his vision for gender equality. Or maybe Wren is fearing Maurice Lévy will send a résumé and request a reunion via filling the vacant position.

Omnicom CEO: ‘We were a bit shocked and put off when Wendy Clark decided to move on in the middle of a crisis’

John Wren said Chuck Brimer was able to step in with limited disruption “irrespective of whatever the behavior of his predecessor was.”

By Oliver McAteer

The CEO of Omnicom Group admitted “we were a bit shocked and put off when Wendy Clark decided to move on in the middle of a crisis” during Tuesday’s Q1 earnings call.

John Wren was addressing an investor question about the network’s plan to safeguard talent from leaving amid sweeping job reductions, salary cuts and furloughs.

He said: “We entered 2020—or DDB did—with a difficult situation because they lost several large clients. Thankfully to other parts of Omnicom. We were a bit shocked and put off when Wendy Clark decided that she was going to move on in the middle of a crisis.

“But we were able to recover with no interruptions at all, because Chuck Brimer, who had previously been the CEO and the chairman of the company was with us and ready to step back in and he’s done a magnificent job, irrespective of whatever the behavior of his predecessor was.

“So I feel that, not only are we in a fabulous situation when it comes to our employees, we’ve done a terribly good job of making certain we can replace every single one of us—and it’s truly a team effort.”

Omnicom leadership explained that cost-cutting measures are not about removing staff from accounts with less business amid COVID-19, but instead, making an evaluation of the best talent and placing underperformers on the list of terminations first.

“People are free to do as they want,” said Wren, responding to an investor who pressed him on competitors snapping up talent. “I’m not any more concerned than I would be prior to the crisis about our staff choosing to work for omnicom over one of our competitors.

“We’ve been very careful and thoughtful—unlike in past crises—in communicating with our employee base and letting them know what our priorities and concerns are and what to expect our actions will be. And I find that when you do communicate with your employees that way it creates a dialogue and a trust level which is terribly important to get us through this crisis.

“So I will be shocked if there’s any depletion of talent in Omnicom. I quite expect to be able to do the opposite of what you’re suggesting and probably hire people who we think are talented from some of our competitors after this settles down.”

Omnicom Group’s worldwide revenue slipped 1.8 percent in the first quarter of 2020.

It decreased to $3,406.9 million from $3,468.9 million compared to the same period last year, primarily due to the negative effects of foeign exchange rates and disposition activity in excess of acquisitions, said the network during an earnings call on Tuesday.

But diluted net income per share rose two cents, or 1.7 percent, to $1.19 compared to $1.17 for the first quarter of 2019.

The report comes as leadership issued a gloomy forecast amid COVID-19 economy chaos.

Part of the company’s statement read: “The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted the global economy. Public health efforts to mitigate the impact of the pandemic include government actions such as travel restrictions, limitations on public gatherings, shelter in place orders and mandatory closures. These actions have negatively impacted many of our clients’ businesses and in turn clients have reduced or plan to reduce their demand for our services.

“As a result, we experienced a reduction in our revenue beginning late in the first quarter of 2020, as compared to the same period in 2019, and is expected to continue for the remainder of the year. Such reductions in revenue could adversely impact our ongoing results of operations and financial position and the effects could be material.”

Omnicom highlighted that while it expects the pandemic to “affect substantially” all of its clients, certain industry sectors have taken a more immediate and significant hit than others, including travel, lodging and entertainment, energy and oil and gas, non-essential retail and automotive.

The statement continued: “Clients in these industries have already acted to cut costs, including postponing or reducing marketing communication expenditures. While certain industries such as healthcare and pharmaceuticals, technology and telecommunications, financial services and consumer products have fared relatively well to date, conditions are volatile and economic uncertainty cuts across all clients, industries and geographies.

“Overall, while we have a diversified portfolio of service offerings, clients and geographies, demand for our services can be expected to decline as marketers reduce expenditures in the short-term due to the uncertain impact of the pandemic on the global economy.

“As a result of the impact on our business, each of our agencies is in the process of aligning their cost structures, including severance actions and furloughs to reduce the workforce, and tailoring their services and capabilities to changes in client demand.”

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Monday, April 27, 2020

14997: One Thing You Can Count on—U.S. Census Is Senseless.

Why is the U.S. Census recruiting for workers during times of social distancing and pandemic paranoia? Any takers for Census Takers? Then again, plenty of WPP employees will be available and seeking employment

Sunday, April 26, 2020

14996: Midol Multicultural Makeover Misses Monthly Mark.

Adweek reported, “Midol Gets a Much-Needed Makeover to Appeal to a New Generation of Women—The Bayer-owned medication is taking to social to reach new customers.” Okay, but the accompanying image shows anti-social-distancing behavior. Sorry, ladies, but it’s that time of the month—and it might extend for several more months—where you need to follow stay-at-home orders. Period.

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Friday, April 24, 2020

14994: Coronavirus Will Change Everything Except Stupidity.

Business Insider published the following:

The CEO of McCann Worldgroup, one of the world's biggest ad agencies, says the coronavirus will change everything from real estate to awards shows

Harris Diamond said the pandemic has led McCann to reconsider its spending and place greater focus on things like HR, IT, and legal services.

The coronavirus is also exposing how the leaders of White advertising agencies are a lot more useless than they might admit or realize. It’s time to reconsider spending on salaries for rocks posing as, well, diamonds.

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

14992: Condom Calendar Is A Week, Er, Weak Idea.

Finding promotional opportunities during the global COVID-19 pandemic takes a new low with this “calendar” concept for SKYN produced by Sid Lee in France. Given all the gender-based sensitivities in the advertising industry and society at large, who would think this is the best way to hype safe sex products? A peek at the Sid Lee leadership—dominated by White men—sorta answers the question.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

14991: Havas Human Resources Lacks Humanity And Resourcefulness.

Campaign published a perspective from Havas Media Senior Talent Acquisition Partner Josh Fialky that presented pathetic pointers for interviewing during the COVID-19 pandemic. The piece underscored how the average HR recruiter—and Fialky is likely well below the average—tends to be a stupid sack of shit.

First of all, did Fialky consider how his editorial might affect Havas drones facing furloughs, layoffs, pay cuts and worse during the COVID-19 pandemic? It’s not exactly a morale booster to see coworkers canned while an HR wonk is offering generic interview tips and sharing about the candidates he’s currently recruiting.

Gee, it’s such a terrible burden that pitiful Fialky is forced “to change how we meet with and interview candidates.” Now he’ll be virtually ignoring and disrespecting candidates—he can literally zoom through the process.

It must also be noted that even in a dismal job market, candidates should think twice before applying at any enterprise in the hackneyed Havas network. And the smart ones will opt against submitting their résumés.

Oh, and Fialky forgot to mention the top piece of advice that will dramatically improve one’s chances of landing a position at Havas: blood ties to key executives.

Some advice on interviewing in the time of COVID-19

“Recruiting has taken a turn as well, prompting us to change how we meet with and interview candidates.”

A view from Josh Fialky

At Havas, our global mission is to make a meaningful difference to the brands, business, and people we work. That got me thinking, how do you create a connection with a potential employer and demonstrate your qualifications and excitement to join an organization when you can’t meet in person?

In recent weeks, the world has adjusted to doing everything – from meetings to birthday parties to happy hours to pitches – over Zoom. Recruiting has taken a turn as well, prompting us to change how we meet with and interview candidates. While we can hardly call video interviews new, what once operated as the exception has become the rule.

While so much has changed, recruiting goals remain the same: attract the best possible talent, learn more about them, create the best candidate experience, and share a view of what the role and company culture look like. Candidates’ goals also remain unchanged: find a new role that allows them to do great things with people they enjoy working with at a company whose values they share.

I speak to a lot of candidates every week. The stress that has come through in recent conversations focuses on interviewing, switching, and starting jobs in this uncertain climate. It got me thinking about some of the best practices around video interviews.

Treat It Like a Normal Interview

Prepare — research the company and interview panel. Then, dress for the interview….at least from the waist up and show up to the video interview a few minutes early. Use the restroom before the call and have a glass of water next to you. Above all, be yourself and be authentic!

Find a Quiet, Distraction-Free Place

Check your lighting. Don’t sit in front of a window…you’ll look like a shadow. Practice screen interviewing with friends or family, including making “eye contact.” That said, it’s okay to be human. These are crazy times and the unexpected happens. Kids! Pets! Roommates!

Email an Immediate Thank You Note

Customize each note, referencing what you discussed. If possible, have someone review before you send to check for typos and grammatical errors.

Set Realistic Expectations with Yourself about Hiring Timelines

It’s not you, it’s us. Companies cannot move as quickly as they used to in the hiring process. Follow up with your recruiter, but not too much. Everything is a moving target these days. Recruiters and hiring managers are currently managing so much with their own WFH situations; hiring only comprises a small piece of it all.

Now what? You’ve completed your interview and sent thank you notes. You’re thinking you want the job but have concerns about not having seen the office. Or perhaps you’re worried that you’ve only met a handful of people. What do you do next?

Take a virtual tour of the office through companies’ social pages, website, or ask your recruiter if they have any video that highlights the workspace. Ask to set up virtual coffee with other members of the team, thinking of the discussion as a casual conversation to understand culture and people.

If you have questions or concerns about how the company is handling the COVID-19 crisis, don’t be afraid to ask your recruiter to set up a discussion with another recent hire who can answer any questions about getting onboarded remotely amidst COVID-19.

There is so much uncertainty out there and it’s not easy for anyone. We’re all in this together.

Stay safe, stay sane, and most importantly, stay home!

Josh Fialky is a senior talent acquisition partner at Havas Media.

Monday, April 20, 2020

14990: BBDOwnsizing & Omnicommiserating.

Advertising Age reported on layoffs at BBDO that included dumping the Chief Creative Officer and Production Chief at the New York office. The story also revealed Omnicom Chairman and CEO John Wren would waive his salary through September and the holding company’s executive leadership team would chop salaries by about 30 percent. No word if other holding company honchos will emulate the sacrifices of Wren and his crew—or just mimic the multi-level layoffs.

BBDO Layoffs Include New York Chief Creative Officer Greg Hahn and Production Chief Dave Rolfe

News follows Omnicom Chairman-CEO John Wren’s warning about staffing

By Ann-Christine Diaz

Just days after Omnicom Chairman-CEO John Wren warned that furloughs and layoffs were imminent across all the holding company’s agencies, BBDO Worldwide has laid off two of its top execs, New York Chief Creative Officer Greg Hahn and Exec VP-Director of Integrated Production Dave Rolfe.

The news marks the highest-profile layoffs in the U.S. since the coronavirus pandemic hit. Hahn is an award-winning vet who joined BBDO in 2005 as an executive creative director and went on to steer some of the agency’s most celebrated campaigns, including multiplatform efforts for Fedex, HBO and AT&T. He previously worked at shops including Rubin Postaer and Fallon Minneapolis, where he worked alongside BBDO Worldwide Chief Creative Officer and BBDO North America Chairman David Lubars on iconic campaigns including BMW Films and EDS’ “Cat Herders.”

Rolfe is a highly-decorated exec who joined the agency in 2012. He first made his mark as a partner at CPB, where he was largely credited for introducing to the agency model the concept of “integrated production,” which has now become industry standard. His resume includes seminal campaigns for Burger King, Best Buy, Microsoft, Ikea, Volkswagen and more.

An agency representative declined comment on the news, while Lubars simply said, “I’m too heartbroken to comment.”

In an all-staff memo obtained by Ad Age earlier this week, Wren said he would be waiving his entire salary through the end of September and Omnicom’s executive leadership team would reduce salaries by a third.

The COVID-19 crisis has continued to rock the agency world this week. Ad Age learned yesterday WPP’s Grey would be furloughing 3.5 percent of its staff. The news follows major layoffs at Mullen Lowe, Giant Spoon and Anomaly, while holding companies Publicis Groupe and Dentsu Aegis Network also recently initiated hiring freezes, furloughs and salary reductions.

Sunday, April 19, 2020

14989: Unorthodox Easter Celebration Is A Swiss Miss.

This campaign from Switzerland hyping sex toys during Easter undoubtedly offended churchgoers and anyone with creative standards alike. The hacks responsible should have the work shoved up their asses—for which they’d likely be gratefully satisfied.

Saturday, April 18, 2020

14988: More COVID-19 Scam Ads—Brought To You By COVID-19.

The crappy, contrived, clichéd COVID-19 Themed Ads collection reached a milestone at 201 entries. Look for the number to spike in the days ahead as more adpeople find extra time to produce scam bullshit—as a result of being furloughed, laid off and fired because of COVID-19. Such irony.

Friday, April 17, 2020

14987: Lévy No Longer Works At WeWork.

As predicted here and reported by Campaign, the relationship between former Publicis Groupe CEO Maurice Lévy and WeWork didn’t work, prompting the old man to end his interim CMO role after only three months. Included in the report was a WeWork advertisement created under Lévy’s short watch, produced by Publicis Groupe. Gee, that’s not too blatant an example of cronyism and conflict of interest. In the end, the partnership likely fizzled because WeWork is to Lévy what Uber is to a stagecoach.

Maurice Lévy and WeWork part ways after three months

Lévy was announced in November 2019 as interim chief marketing officer.

By Omar Oakes

Maurice Lévy’s stint as WeWork’s marketing chief quietly came to end a few weeks ago, Campaign can reveal.

The 77-year-old former Publicis Groupe chief executive (and now chairman of its advisory board) left his post as interim chief marketing officer of the beleaguered office-sharing business at the end of February.

Lévy was announced in November 2019 as a surprise appointment to lead WeWork’s marketing efforts on an interim basis, following the departure of Robin Daniels.

During his short stint, WeWork produced a newspaper ad in December in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and the Financial Times to remind customers that “WeWork is on the move. In the vanguard.”

The work was created by Publicis, which will continue to support WeWork. A successor to Lévy has not been announced, but the company did hire Marissa Shorenstein as chief communications officer in February, within weeks of Sandeep Mathrani being installed as chief executive.

Lévy told Campaign: “I have been happy to help WeWork rebuilding its marketing and communications departments. Publicis is helping through its teams on both aspects and my role ended at end of February.”

WeWork has been hit severely by the coronavirus pandemic as employees at non-essential businesses in Europe and North America have been told to work from home as part of social-distancing efforts.

However, the company had been in trouble long before the global health emergency, having failed to pull off an initial public offering in September 2019 and then accepting a multibillion-dollar bailout by Japanese venture-capital investor SoftBank in October. Last week, SoftBank withdrew its $3bn (£2.4bn) offer for WeWork shares, citing civil and criminal investigations as reasons for exiting the agreement. According to a 26 March letter to investors, WeWork said it had $4.4bn in cash as of 31 December 2019 and that the company believes it had the financial resources and liquidity to carry out its plan through 2024 (including facing the challenges created by Covid-19).

Thursday, April 16, 2020

14986: Holding On And Holding Out At Holding Companies.

As White holding companies respond to the COVID-19 pandemic by instituting hiring freezes, furloughs, pay cuts, layoffs and more, why aren’t any of the CEOs announcing self-imposed salary reductions to help the troops and boost morale?

Holding-company drones aren’t holding their collective breath waiting for such things to happen.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

14985: Adland Escalates COVID-19 To COVID-179.

As previously forecasted, the crappy, contrived, clichéd COVID-19 Themed Ads collection is now the largest bunch of bullshit, overtaking the Highlighted Holiday Ads collection. Social distancing can’t stop anti-social dimwits on furlough and layoffs from excreting poopy propaganda.

14984: Uncle Ben Gets A Wardrobe Change—And Demotion.

Not sure when it happened, but Uncle Ben went from Corporate Chairman to casual. Hey, it’s sorta like Aunt Jemima swapping her kerchief for pearl earrings.

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

14983: Adland Would Love To Designate COVID-19 As An International Holiday.

The crappy, contrived, clichéd COVID-19 Themed Ads collection will soon become the largest grouping, surpassing the Highlighted Holiday Ads collection. Yep, when it comes to award-winning opportunities, Adland can turn a global pandemic into a celebratory holiday.

Monday, April 13, 2020

14982: Folgers Spot Deserves A Golden Shower—Along With The Hacks At Publicis Groupe’s PSOne.

Initially thought this Folgers commercial was a bad SNL parody, but it turns out to be an actual marketing message described as follows:

When your “morning run” involves running away with your eyes closed, you can bet the Folgers Morning Harmonizers will be there to make things right. Folgers coffee—the best part of wakin’ up.

The responsible “creative” enterprise for the work is Publicis Groupe’s PSOne—which must be shorthand for one piece-of-shit firm.

It’s difficult to thoroughly dissect the excrement, but here are a few key critiques:

First, the depiction of Blacks—especially Black women—as sexually charged people is stereotypical and offensive. What’s next? A threesome between Steve, daughter-in-law and Mrs. Olson?

Next, introducing the diverse gospel choir, er, Folgers Morning Harmonizers, adds another layer of atypical stereotypes.

Not sure cultural cluelessness is an adequate excuse, as the spot is simply hackneyed crap. In short, this turd should have been flushed in the conceptual brewing stage.

Sunday, April 12, 2020

14981: Popular Pandemic Pastimes Part One.

Hey, so long as you’ve got spare time while complying with stay-at-home orders…

Thursday, April 09, 2020

14978: In Nigeria, Misinformation Is Reaching Epidemic Levels.

Nigeria Centre for Disease Control wants to stop the spread of COVID-19—not the virus, but virus-related misinformation. Going to an advertising agency for content to combat misinformation demonstrates a certain level of being misinformed, no?

Wednesday, April 08, 2020

14977: Wendy Clark Dumps DDB For Dentsu.

Advertising Age reported DDB Global CEO Wendy Clark is taking her act to Dentsu Aegis Network in the very near future, as confirmed by a memo from DDB Chairman Chuck Brymer that Ad Age published too. The move exposes Clark’s true restless ambition—and presents more freelance opportunities for Ted Royer. When it comes to bullshit, she is unlimited.

Global CEO Wendy Clark To Leave DDB For Dentsu

The high-profile exec is joining Dentsu Aegis Network as global CEO

By Brian Braiker

Omnicom Group’s DDB Worldwide announced early Monday morning that Global CEO Wendy Clark would be stepping down. She will be assuming a new role as global CEO of Dentsu Group’s Dentsu Aegis Network.

“Wendy Clark has advised us that she will be leaving DDB Worldwide in the very near future,” DDB Chairman Chuck Brymer wrote in a note to staff. “In order to ensure that our teams and clients across the network are supported, I have agreed to lead the company on an interim basis until which time we have established the new leadership structure.”

According to a statement sent by Dentsu, Clark will report to Tim Andree, executive chairman of Dentsu Aegis Network, and “will be appointed Executive Officer at Dentsu Group Inc. at the same time she joins the business in September with the approval of the Board of Dentsu Group Inc.” Dentsu Group uses the title “executive officer” for the holding company’s various corporate officers.

Andree, who led the search, has been executive chairman of London-based Dentsu Aegis Network since 2013. Andree also holds the title of executive VP at Dentsu Group, the Tokyo-based agency holding company.

Dentsu Aegis Network oversees holdings outside Japan for Dentsu Group.

In an interview with Ad Age Monday morning, Clark said conversations with Dentsu began last year and “culminated in February.”

“The people are incredibly intelligent, kind, hardworking, passionate,” Clark says of Dentsu. “You look at the over 170 acquisitions they’ve done in the last five years, they have been very deliberate.”

In 2016 Dentsu bought a majority stake in Maryland-based digital agency Merkle, in a high profile acquisition estimated at the time at $1.5 billion. In 2020 alone, Dentsu bought both identification and data services company 4Cite Marketing and Media Storm, one of the largest independent data-driven audience planning and targeting agencies.

Clark, speaking from her home in Atlanta, tells Ad Age she will commute to Dentsu offices in New York and London, and “Japan a little bit,” as she has done in previous roles. “I’m very comfortable being on an airplane,” she says.

In the global CEO role at Dentsu Aegis Network, Clark says she will oversee all operations outside of Japan and brands including Merkle, Carat, Isobar and mcgarrybowen. She praised Dentsu as being a holding company that has succeeded in “integrating technology with creativity” through its acquisitions.

Ad Age will be updating this story as it develops throughout the day.

“I know that these next few months will be very tough for all of us,” DDB’s Brymer wrote in his note to staff. “The challenges that we and our clients are facing are beyond anything we could have imagined even a few months ago. Fortunately we possess an incredible leadership team, spirit and resolve. Each one of us is dedicated to ensuring as smooth a transition as possible.”

Clark was appointed DDB’s president and chief executive of North America in 2016, joining the agency from Coca-Cola, where she served as North American president of sparkling brands and strategic marketing. Previously, she had been responsible for the global leadership of all Coca-Cola’s sparkling brands.

During her early tenure at the Omnicom-owned agency, DDB expanded existing relationships with clients Conagra Brands, Johnson & Johnson and State Farm; the last client severed ties in November. Under Clark, the agency brought in new business from Molson Coors, Time Warner Cable, Merck and, notably, McDonald’s.

For McDonald’s, Clark oversaw the brand’s custom-created agency We Are Unlimited, which was launched in 2016 following an agency review and selection process led by Deborah Wahl, McDonald’s U.S. chief marketer at the time, who left the company in 2017. Omnicom won the McDonald’s account in a pitch led by Clark, who would later be promoted to CEO of DDB North America and, in February 2018, CEO of DDB Worldwide. We Are Unlimited officially began working on the account at the start of 2017.

But the relationship failed to gain meaningful traction, and in September of 2019 McDonald’s announced it had decided to go with Wieden+Kennedy, New York, as its lead creative agency in the U.S. The move toward an independent creative agency was a major shift for the country’s largest restaurant chain, which had for decades worked with shops that are part of large holding companies. It also suggested that a bespoke agency within a holding company structure, hailed by Clark and her acolytes as an exciting new model at the time, may not be the answer for major marketers when it comes to creative partners.

Clark’s early tenure at DDB was blessed (or possibly cursed) with high visibility. A 2017 Ad Age Executive of the Year, Clark was inducted into the Marketing Hall of Fame in 2019, for among other things, having “driven a renewed sense of new business winning helping to land over 32 pitch wins, including Volkswagen, McDonald’s, Johnson & Johnson, AT&T, Kellogg’s, Miller Lite and the U.S. Army, to name a few.”

It was understood at the time that the Army win would provide DDB with a consistent revenue stream from a multi-year government contract. The contract was for “a full array of advertising and marketing services for a five-year base period and two successive option periods of, respectively, three years and two years, for a total possible period of performance of 10 years,” according to a Government Accountability Office document.

According to an earlier Ad Age story, McCann was believed to take in $30 million to $40 million a year with its Army deal.

In October 2018, Clark stepped down from the leadership committee for Time’s Up Advertising, an initiative aimed at addressing sexual harassment and inequality in the workplace, after reportedly hiring creative Ted Royer as a freelancer. Royer had previously left his post as Droga5’s chief creative officer under a cloud of still-unspecified controversy.

And after DDB lost McDonald’s last September, State Farm announced in November it would be switching up its agency roster, naming Omicom’s Marketing Arm as lead creative agency, dealing yet another blow to DDB, this time in Chicago, an agency partner of State Farm’s for seven decades. While DDB still works with the marketer, its shift away from lead agency on creative was a significant demotion.

In January of this year, DDB announced the loss of client Capital One, marking the end of a 16-year relationship.

Contributing: Judann Pollack, Lindsay Rittenhouse and E.J. Schultz

Tuesday, April 07, 2020

14976: Adland’s Gonna Party Like It’s COVID-1999.

The crappy, contrived, clichéd COVID-19 Themed Ads collection has grown over seven times in about two weeks. Stay classy—while you stay at home—Adland!

Monday, April 06, 2020

14975: Lions Lollapalooza Cannes-celled—But Bound To Come Roaring Back In 2021.

According to an official announcement posted at the organization’s website, Cannes Lions 2020 Festival of Creativity has been cancelled due to the coronavirus. The exclusive extravaganza’s press release claimed the decision was made upon realizing “our customers’ priorities have shifted to the need to protect people, to serve consumers with essential items and to focus on preserving companies, society and economies.” Huh? Shouldn’t those concerns have been the priorities pre-pandemic too? Plus, it’s a safe bet that Cannes Lions will recoup the 2020 revenue losses by introducing the COVID-19 Lion next year.

Cannes Lions 2020 Cancelled

The Festival and Awards will not take place in 2020

3 April 2020

Cannes Lions announces today that the annual Festival of Creativity will not take place in October as previously planned. The next edition of the Festival will run June 21-25, 2021.

As the impact from COVID-19 continues to be felt across the world on consumers and our customers across the marketing, creative and media industries, it has become clear to us our customers’ priorities have shifted to the need to protect people, to serve consumers with essential items and to focus on preserving companies, society and economies.

Our difficult decision follows in-depth consultations with our partners and customers and reflects the unprecedented societal, health and economic challenges currently facing the world, as well as our desire to remove any uncertainty about the running of the awards and event for our partners and customers.

Philip Thomas, Chairman, Cannes Lions, commented: “Cannes Lions at its core has always been about creativity and the Lions. We realise that the creative community has other challenges to face, and simply isn’t in a position to put forward the work that will set the benchmark. The marketing and creative industries, in common with so many others, are currently in turmoil, and it’s clear that we can play our small part by removing all speculation about the Festival this year. We have tried to make our decisions as early as possible to give the industry total clarity on the situation, and that is why we are announcing this move today.”

Simon Cook, Managing Director, Cannes Lions, added: “We all look ahead to a more positive time – right now, Cannes Lions will continue to bring the global creative community together and provide inspiration where we can find it. Our recent call for inspirational creative stories from around the world has already garnered hundreds of accounts of our community uniting and showing progress in this crisis. We believe firmly that the Lions continue to offer valuable recognition to that community and we look forward to celebrating and honouring the work in 2021, when the world will hopefully feel more stable, and our community can give their work the focus it deserves.”

Sunday, April 05, 2020

14974: Trying To Kill The Coronavirus—But Shooting Blanks.

Can’t help but think that this clichéd and contrived coronavirus campaign from Tajrobeh Design Studio in Iran actually fuels any bias and prejudicial perspectives people might already harbor for the country. Perhaps somebody should have shot it down in the concept stage—versus gleefully firing off bilingual versions.