Friday, May 29, 2015

12691: Less Loot For Lévy.

Adweek reported Publicis Groupe CEO Maurice Lévy earned only $3.1 million last year as a result of failing to meet performance criteria. Of course, Lévy’s salary is still roughly $3 million more than the average senior-level executive in Publicis Groupe. The people deciding Lévy’s loot should have viewed the old man as a drunken john, given all of his reckless spending on every digital prostitute that crossed his path. Hell, if MDC Partners CEO Miles Nadal is facing investigation for his money handling, Lévy ought to be placed under an auditor’s microscope too.

Publicis Chief Maurice Lévy Earned a Mere $3 Million Last Year

Failed to meet some performance targets

By Noreen O’Leary

Publicis Groupe chief Maurice Lévy earned a modest $3.1 million in compensation last year, a pittance compared with his peers.

Omnicom CEO John Wren, for instance, took home $24 million, while WPP’s chief Martin Sorrell stands to collect shares worth $53 million as part of his 2014 compensation. Miles Nadal, the top exec at MDC Partners, received nearly $17 million, and Interpublic’s CEO Michael Roth pocketed $13 million.

Since 2012, Lévy has not collected a base salary, with all of his compensation tied to performance criteria. (That compensation is capped at €5 million, which is currently worth $4.6 million.) At Publicis Groupe’s annual meeting yesterday in Paris, Lévy’s performance evaluation was shared for a year when the company’s audacious plans to merge with rival Omnicom fell apart.

Lévy did not meet expectations on three of his four quantitative criteria: total shareholder return, increased earnings per share, and organic growth. However, he achieved results in increasing net income and was paid $1.6 million for doing so. (Net income fell 9 percent, but headline net income, which strips out various losses and costs like those related to the Publicis-Omnicom merger and Publicis’ $3.7 billion acquisition of Sapient, rose 4.7 percent in 2014.)

The Publicis chief fared better with qualitative criteria. In updating the company’s 2013 strategy with detailed plans to achieve objectives, Publicis said Lévy “partly achieved” his goals. That was also the case with his efforts to define the Groupe’s future organizational structure and “implement a transitional phase,” which presumably refers to Lévy’s planned retirement in 2017. He was fully successful in raising the proportion of digital income to 50 percent of the Groupe’s total revenue and was paid $1.4 million.

In a newly released yearbook of 2014 highlights, Lévy acknowledged the uneven performance and hinted that the negotiations and ultimate failure of the Omnicom merger might have been a distraction:

“It is true that [2014] was a year of mixed results for Publicis Groupe, with 2 percent growth over the year, which falls short of both our abilities and expectations. The reasons are numerous and are due in part to the fact that our core management teams were too focused on other projects, which did not materialize.”

Thursday, May 28, 2015

12690: Colonel Wood.

Advertising Age published a perspective by Douglas J. Wood, a partner with Reed Smith and General Counsel to the Association of National Advertisers. Don’t know or care what Wood wrote about. But he should have been chosen ahead of Darrell Hammond to portray Colonel Sanders in the new KFC campaign.

12689: New White Place For Ace.

Advertising Age reported Ace Hardware handed its account to O’Keefe Reinhard & Paul after a shootout between White advertising agencies. The IPG-backed OKRP previously picked up a Pizza Hut assignment sans review. Incumbent White advertising agency GSD&M—which just lost Petsmart—did not participate in the competition, probably in order to focus even more time to Annie the Chicken Queen for Popeyes.

O’Keefe Reinhard & Paul Nabs Ace Hardware After Review

Account Had Been at GSD&M, Which Did Not Participate in Review

By Maureen Morrison

Ace Hardware has named O’Keefe, Reinhard & Paul its new agency after a review.

Omnicom’s GSD&M had been the lead agency on the account since 2009, though the agency did not participate in the review. According to people familiar with the matter, finalists in the review were Interpublic’s FCB, Escape Pod, OKRP and Schafer Condon Carter, all in Chicago, not far from the company’s Oak Brook, Ill. headquarters. There was no search consultant involved in the review.

Jeff Gooding, senior director of consumer marketing and advertising at Ace said that the marketer chose OKRP, in part, because of its small business mindset (the shop is a two-year-old startup), which he said matches that of its store owners, who have some 4,400 U.S. locations. “Their insights and creative were strong and straightforward, and we’re a straightforward company,” he said. He also noted that the agency took the time to understand the company’s culture, which is based on being a source of advice for consumers who like do-it-yourself home improvement projects.

Mr. Gooding said it’s not yet clear when new work from OKRP will launch. The company’s media agency is Publicis Groupe’s Spark, which won the account in 2013.

OKRP is a relatively young agency, launched in March 2013 by former FCB executives. Since its launch, the shop has worked on Pizza Hut’s Wing Street, as well as other Yum brands projects and Turtle Wax. The agency is perhaps best known for its holiday work for Big Lots last year.

Ace has recently put an emphasis on the paint category. Last year, Interpublic’s FCB worked on the rollout of Ace’s new paint department, an effort between Ace and Valspar, with a campaign called “Helpful is beautiful.” Valspar is an FCB client.

Ace in 2014 upped its U.S. measured media spending to $63 million, up from $52 million the prior year, according to Kantar Media. In 2012 Ace spent $47 million.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

12688: Petsmart Sets Dog Free.

Advertising Age reported Petsmart got smart, splitting with White advertising agency GSD&M after less than seven months in favor of transferring the marketing duties to in-house resources. The move sorta indicates the client decided GSD&M was not better than nothing. At least now the Austin-based agency has more time to focus on their pet project: Annie the Chicken Queen for Popeyes.

GSD&M, Petsmart Part Ways After Less Than Seven Months

Retailer Brings Marketing Back In-House Following Acquisition by Private Equity Group

By Maureen Morrison

Just seven months after tapping Omnicom’s GSD&M as its agency, Petsmart is bringing the bulk of its advertising in-house.

The move comes after Petsmart was bought by a consortium led by BC Partners in December. That deal became final in mid-March. Two weeks later, Phil Bowman, exec VP-customer experience, a role that oversees marketing, left the company. He has since been replaced by Eran Cohen, whose hire was announced as part of a new leadership team in the wake of the private-equity acquisition.

Bringing its creative in-house isn’t new for the retailer. Prior to hiring GSD&M, the company had fielded much of its marketing in-house in recent years.

“While we appreciate the efforts of GSD&M, we’ve decided not to continue our partnership with them,” said Michelle Friedman, a spokeswoman at Petsmart. “We will resume management of all creative work with our in-house team.”

Said GSD&M in a statement: “We want to thank our client partners for the opportunity to create bold work in a true collaboration. We are proud of the work we created together and wish everyone at Petsmart the best during their transition.”

The agency in February launched a campaign called “Petsmart partners in pethood,” which included spots directed by Christopher Guest.

Petsmart spent about $113 million in U.S. measured media in 2014, according to Kantar Media, up from nearly $105 million in 2013.

The loss of Petsmart comes after the agency recently parted ways with Marshalls. Ace Hardware, which the agency has also handled, also went into review. In the past year, GSD&M has picked up the Hampton hotel business (August), the Northwestern Mutual account (July) and media planning and buying, along with select creative projects for Chipotle (last May.)

Contributing: Ashley Rodriguez

12687: Black Hawks Down.

The Atlanta Hawks were swept in the Eastern Conference Finals by the Cleveland Cavaliers, who are now heading to the NBA Finals for the first time since 2007. But don’t be too quick to credit the extraordinary talent of LeBron James for the decisive victory. Rather, put the blame squarely on the Offensive Karma ignited by Hawks owner Bruce Levenson and Hawks general manager Danny Ferry. Thanks to Messrs. Levenson and Ferry, the Hawks couldn’t have beaten LeBron James—or even Kevin James.

12686: Drilling For A Concept.

If you drilled into the heads of the creative team responsible for these ads, you’d discover empty skulls.

From Ads of the World.

12685: U.S. Navy’s New Stooge.

Adweek reported the U.S. Navy sailed away from its White advertising agency of 15 years and docked into a new White advertising agency. Replacing Lowe Campbell Ewald with Young & Rubicam is like swapping Curly for Shemp—although a lot less entertaining.

U.S. Navy Picks a New Agency After 15 Years With One Shop

Young & Rubicam takes over for Lowe Campbell Ewald

By Noreen O’Leary

Young & Rubicam is the U.S. Navy’s new agency, following a mandated review in which Lowe Campbell Ewald defended one of its largest accounts of 15 years, sources said.

Last year the Interpublic agency, now reconfigured as part of the Mullen Lowe Group, received a contract extension until a review could determine the winner of a five-year contract beginning this year. The agency last defended the business in 2009.

Last year the Navy spent $39.6 million on measured media, according to Kantar Media.

A Y&R representative declined to comment.

The new contract runs for a full year, followed by four one-year options that extend through 2020. Y&R will handle traditional, digital and mobile advertising as well as account and media planning, research, public relations and events.

In 2009, Lowe Campbell Ewald produced the tagline “America’s Navy. A global force for good.” to attract young recruits, but last year the Navy began phasing out the line after negative feedback from active-duty sailors, veterans and the American public. Earlier this year, the agency produced a new spot, “Pin Map,” which positioned the Navy as “Around the world, around the clock.”

Losing the Navy business is the latest blow for the agency, which lost its biggest client Cadillac last year, an account it worked on as part of a consortium of agencies called Rogue.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

12684: Orbit Gum Blows.

Orbit presents a global, multicultural campaign in the laziest way possible, integrating Ashton Kutcher, Cristián de la Fuente and Damon Wayans Jr. delivering identical performances in the same set. Why is Kutcher chewing with a woman who isn’t Mila Kunis? And why is Wayans Jr. depicting an interracial romance?

12683: Adios To Artificiality…?

The Associated Press reported Taco Bell is following up its salt reduction efforts with an attempt to get rid of artificial flavors and colors in its menu items. Of course, the move will not affect soft drinks or co-branded products like the infamous Doritos Locos Tacos. Univision’s new campaign tagline—Todo Es Posible—would be disproved by the goal of removing the artificiality from Taco Bell.

Taco Bell to get rid of artificial flavors, colors

By Associated Press

Call it the Chipotle effect.

Taco Bell and Pizza Hut say they’re getting rid of artificial colors and flavors, making them the latest big food companies scrambling to distance themselves from ingredients people might find unappetizing.

Instead of “black pepper flavor,” for instance, Taco Bell will start using actual black pepper in its seasoned beef, says Liz Matthews, the chain’s chief food innovation officer.

The Mexican-style chain also says the artificial dye Yellow No. 6 will be removed from its nacho cheese, Blue No. 1 will be removed from its avocado ranch dressing and carmine, a bright pigment, will be removed from its red tortilla strips.

Matthews said some of the new recipes are being tested in select markets and should be in stores nationally by the end of the year.

The country’s biggest food makers are facing pressure from smaller rivals that position themselves as more wholesome alternatives. Chipotle, in particular, has found success in marketing itself as an antidote to traditional fast food, although some question the meaningfulness of some of its claims. In April, Chipotle announced it had removed genetically modified organisms from its food, even though the Food and Drug Administration says GMOs are safe.

Critics say the purging of chemicals is a response to unfounded fears over ingredients, but companies are nevertheless rushing to ensure their recipes don’t become marketing disadvantages. In recent months, restaurant chains including Panera, McDonald’s and Subway have said they’re switching to ingredients people can easily recognize.

John Coupland, a professor of food science at Penn State University, said companies are realizing some ingredients may not be worth the potential harm they might cause to their images, given changing attitudes about additives.

Additionally, he noted that the removal of artificial ingredients can be a way for companies to give their food a healthy glow without making meaningful changes to their nutritional profiles. For instance, Coupland said reducing salt, sugar or portion sizes would have a far bigger impact on public health.

Taco Bell and Pizza Hut are owned by Yum Brands Inc., which had hinted the changes would be on the way. At a conference for investors late last year, Yum CEO Greg Creed referred to the shifting attitudes and the desire for “real food” as a revolution in the industry.

Representatives at KFC and Yum’s corporate headquarters in Louisville, Kentucky were not immediately available to comment on whether the fried chicken chain would also be removing artificial ingredients.

Pizza Hut says it will remove artificial colors and preservatives by the end of July.

Taco Bell says it will take out artificial colors, artificial flavors, high-fructose corn syrup and unsustainable palm oil from its food by the end of 2015. It says artificial preservatives will be removed “where possible” by 2017. The moves do not affect fountain drinks or co-branded products, such as its Doritos-flavored taco shells.

Brian Niccol, the chain’s CEO, said price increases are based on a variety of factors, and that the company would work to keep its menu affordable.

“I do not want to lose any element of being accessible to the masses,” Niccol said.

When asked whether the changes would affect taste, a representative for Taco Bell said in an email that “It will be the same great tasting Taco Bell that people love.”

12682: Omnicom’s EEO-1 BS.

A MultiCultClassics visitor pointed to the Omnicom Group 2015 Annual Meeting of Shareholders held on May 18 in Lakewood, Colorado. The associated report featured a particularly pathetic passage on page 45:

Item 4 — Shareholder Proposal Regarding Annual Disclosure of EEO-1 Data

Representatives of the New York City Comptroller (the “Comptroller”), on behalf of the New York City Pension Funds, 1 Centre Street, New York, NY 10007, have advised that the New York City Pension Funds are the beneficial owner of 475,187 shares of Omnicom common stock and that the Comptroller intends to introduce a proposal for the consideration of shareholders at the 2015 Annual Meeting, the text of which reads as follows.

RESOLVED: Shareholders request that the Board of Directors adopt and enforce a policy requiring Omnicom Group Inc. (“Omnicom,” or the “Company”) to disclose its EEO-1 data – a comprehensive breakdown of its workforce by race and gender according to 10 employment categories – on its website, beginning in 2015.

Supporting Statement

Despite federal and state laws forbidding employment discrimination on the basis of race, allegations of racial discrimination persists in some industries; and in recent years, a number of companies have agreed to pay millions of dollars to settle allegations of racial discrimination.

The advertising industry, of which the Company is a part, is characterized by the persistent and pervasive underrepresentation of minorities, particularly in senior positions. A recent study entitled, “Research Perspectives on Race and Employment in the Advertising Industry” (Bendick and Egan Economic Consultants, Inc. 2009), found that:

• Racial disparity is 38% worse in the advertising industry than in the overall U.S. labor market;

• The “discrimination divide” between advertising and other U.S. industries is more than twice as wide as it was 30 years ago;

• Black college graduates working in advertising earn 80 cents for every dollar earned by their equally-qualified White counterparts;

• About 16% of large advertising firms employ no Black managers or professionals, a rate 60% higher than in the overall labor market; and

• Black managers and professionals in the industry are only one-tenth as likely as their White counterparts to earn $100,000 a year.

Numerous studies have found that workplace diversity provides a competitive advantage by generating diverse, valuable perspectives, creativity and innovation, increased productivity and morale, while eliminating the limitations of “groupthink.”

In opposing this proposal when previously presented, Omnicom agreed “that workplace diversity creates value for the Company and fosters a positive corporate culture,” according to its 2012 and 2013 Proxy Statements. The Company emphasizes its commitment to recruiting, retaining and promoting minorities and women, and its website points to a set of specific initiatives. But without quantitative disclosure, shareholders have no way to evaluate and benchmark the effectiveness of these efforts.

Federal law requires companies with 100 or more employees to annually submit an EEO-1 Report to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The report profiles a company’s workforce by race and gender according to 10 job categories, including senior management.

Disclosure of the Company’s EEO-1 data would allow shareholders to evaluate the effectiveness of its efforts to increase the diversity of its workforce throughout its ranks, and at minimal cost. In addition, we believe full disclosure of the Company’s EEO-1 data would drive management and the Board to pursue continuous improvements in the Company’s diversity programs, fully integrate diversity into its culture and practices, and strengthen its reputation and accountability to shareholders.

We urge shareholders to vote FOR the proposal, which received support averaging 30% of votes cast in 2012 and 2013.

This is neither new nor news. New York City Comptroller John Liu and Sanford Moore continue to demand that Omnicom literally and figuratively reveal its true colors. And Omnicom continues to deflect accountability via spokespuppets of color.

The response to the proposal demonstrated classic dodging, deferring, denying and delegating diversity. The Board of Directors unanimously recommended voting against the proposal, pointing to all the clichéd, contrived and conniving crap as proof of progress.

For example, Omnicom employs Directors of Diversity and Chief Diversity Officers in every network—along with a Senior Vice President Chief Diversity Officer in the Caucasian corporate office. Alas, there’s no meaningful and measurable evidence of success being generated by the patronizing appointments. It’s hard out here for a pimp.

Other types of propagandistic smokescreens include colorblind committees, minority scholarships, inclusive internships and tax-deductible donations to ADCOLOR®—which happens to be the pet project of Omnicom’s SVP CDO. Why, the holding company even has a special “strategic insights organization” focused on equality for White women.

Most outrageous is the board’s recognition of Omnicom President-CEO John Wren being crowned a Pioneer of Diversity. Pioneer of Diversion would be a more accurate title.

The report went on to state, “The proposal requests release of information that would not be informative and could harm the Company.” Why would an enterprise employing Directors of Diversity and Chief Diversity Officers, utilizing diversity committees, offering diversity scholarships and internships, paying diversity donations to ADCOLOR®, spiking diversity numbers with White women and running under the guidance of a Pioneer of Diversity be so afraid of displaying its actual diversity?

The agencies within the Omnicom network are always quick to hype positive ROI. What’s the return on investment for the numerous diversity initiatives bankrolled by Omnicom?

Monday, May 25, 2015

12681: Adland Good For White People.

Campaign published perspectives from Adam & Eve/DDB CEO James Murphy (the latest White person to become UK Advertising Association Chairman) and Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO Group Chairman and Group CEO Cilla Snowball (the White person/predecessor who served as UK Advertising Association Chairman). Murphy is determined to prove that adland is good for the economy, society and people. Murphy stressed, “…the AA is pushing us all to ask the difficult questions.” Plus, he gushed about AA predictions that over 70,000 new advertising jobs will be created in the next four years. Of course, Murphy is not about to ask the difficult question, “How many of the 70,000 new jobs will go to minorities?” In fact, diversity doesn’t even appear in his roughly 750-word rave. Meanwhile, Snowball mentioned diversity; yet based on her committed efforts to date, she’s really talking about increased opportunities for White women. Yes, adland is good for the economy. Proving that adland is good for society and people, however, will require concocting a campaign based on lies and deceptions—a perfect project for White advertising executives to handle.

12680: Sprint CMO WTF.

Advertising Age reported Sprint is continuing to create a real-life Frobinson Framily/Shirato Family with its marketing team, recruiting Kevin Crull as its new Chief Marketing Officer. Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son (who is Japanese), Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure (who is Bolivian), Crull (who is Canadian) and the Midwestern Americans at Sprint’s Kansas-based headquarters make for a pretty diverse enterprise. Yet the client chose to partner with a corrupt and culturally clueless White advertising agency in Deutsch LA. Go figure.

Sprint Names Canadian Broadcast Exec Kevin Crull CMO

Exec Left Bell Media in April After Admitting to Trying to Influence Coverage of Subsidiary

By Maureen Morrison

Sprint has named Kevin Crull its new chief marketing officer.

Mr. Crull, a Canadian media and broadcast executive, will be responsible for all products and services, advertising, customer acquisition and retention, and all digital and social efforts, according to a statement. He’ll report to President-CEO Marcelo Claure and will relocate to Kansas City, Mo., where Sprint’s headquarters are.

Mr. Crull’s most recent position as president-CEO of Bell Media, Canada’s largest media and broadcasting company, ended in April 2015, when he stepped down after admitting he tried to influence coverage by one of Bell’s subsidiaries, CTV.

According to a press release, while at Bell, Mr. Crull led the acquisition of CTV Globemedia in late 2010, creating the foundation for Bell Media, Inc. Following that, he led the acquisition and integration of Astral Media in 2012 and 2013. He was president of the Bell Residential Services, a telecommunications company, providing broadband, home phone, and satellite and fiber television service in Canada. Before that, he was at AT&T, working on the consumer and small-business sales and marketing. He was also senior VP-general manager of AT&T’s wireless initiative.

Sprint’s former CMO, Jeff Hallock, late last year confirmed he was departing the company by the end of the first quarter. That announcement came amid a major agency review and corporate overhaul by Mr. Claure, who joined the ailing carrier last August.

Sprint did not confirm until December that it had hired Interpublic’s Deutsch as its new agency, although incumbent Figliulo & Partners was said to remain on the roster. By the time the company had confirmed Deutsch’s win, the shop had already produced TV spots that were airing.

“Kevin did an amazing job at Bell Media, and I expect him to do even better at Sprint,” said Mr. Claure in a statement. “Sprint is privileged to attract someone of his caliber and experience in media, content and wireless. As the industry shifts towards providing unique experiences and content to wireless customers, Kevin’s exceptional experience will allow him to be a great contributor in Sprint’s transformation journey.”

“I’m thrilled to join Sprint, a company that I believe has limitless potential for growth and transformation at a very exciting time in the industry,” Mr. Crull said in the statement. “I believe the Sprint team is showing great momentum and has a plan to win in the marketplace. The wireless industry offers tremendous opportunity for profitable growth. My past experience has been all about execution and transformation and delivering results, and this is what I intend to do as part of the Sprint team.”

One of Mr. Claure’s first acts was to pull the “Framily Plan” pitch, which Figliulo & Partners had marketed with its “Frobinsons” campaign starring a cast of oddball characters.

As of late December, Sprint commanded 15% of the U.S. market, trailing Verizon (33%) and AT&T (28%), according to comScore. Yet amid a network overhaul, Sprint is bleeding customers—it lost 714,000 postpaid subscribers over the past year. It’s also confronting a credible challenge from T-Mobile, which added 2.3 million customers during the third quarter.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

12679: Black Pencils, White Winners.

Campaign reported the annual D&AD awards ceremony saluted the winners of five black Pencils. It’s fairly safe to guess the honorees were not Black.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

12678: Crying Shame.

Not sure this campaign from Kenya is really respecting its audience. In fact, it’s disrespecting Black women.

From Ads of the World.