Acme Widget Content Co.

Ad Age is running an article on the former chief operating officer at WPP’s Alliance, David Caruso. Caruso has started a new agency, Acme Content Co., dedicated to branded entertainment.

“I felt in a big agency [branded content] still wasn’t being treated with the respect and thought leadership that the other disciplines were,” he said. “It was still sort of a black sheep.”
Part of the value of having an independent shop in branded entertainment, he added, will be helping marketers find ways to evaluate the effectiveness of programs, the timing and complexity of which don’t always lend themselves to assessment by the marketing-mix models favored by more analytical clients.
“I’ve seen so many great ideas that weren’t packaged fully and die, because eventually some tough questions are going to be asked,” he said. “If you can crack the P&Gs and Unilevers of the world, the less analytical clients will come a lot easier.”

The article goes on to say Caruso speaks P&G’s language, and that P&G’s favorite acronym is “FSCIs” (for free-standing coupon inserts). I’m confused by this. First, I’ve always called them FSIs, not FSCIs. The “coupon” is implied. Secondly, what do FSIs have to do with branded content? Not much.

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.


  1. David Caruso has made much more profound statements on CSI:Miami.
    But seriously, P&G has turned its coupon packets into branded content, as the booklets in Sunday papers have covered themes and topics beyond mere coupon savings. At the same time, P&G is notorious for creating their own jargon for what everyone else is doing.