Holding Companies Don’t Hold All The Cards

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A recent article in Adweek wondered if independent ad agencies can thrive in the “merger era.” The answer, of course, is yes. In the era of “storytelling” and “content” nearly anyone and their project manager can get into the advertising business. But it’s not a guaranteed path to success. The weaknesses of upper management are […]

Publicis Groupe’s Digerati Join NYC Media Lab

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In a quest to innovate and apply leaner methods to age old practices, agencies are increasingly acting like media and technology companies. In one such move, Publicis Groupe—agency parent to DigitasLBi, MRY, Razorfish and VivaKi—is joining the NYC Media Lab as a corporate member. Other partners include AT&T, ESPN, HBO, Hearst, NBCUniversal, News Corp., Time […]

Can Brands Dance? Sir Martin Says Yes

Music moves people. Live music moves people deeply. The experience lingers for days, weeks, sometimes for years. Naturally, brand marketers would love to gain some of this attention for their own purposes, and increasingly they’re turning to experiential marketing to deliver. Which is why it is not surprising to learn that WPP has ponied up […]

The “De-Skilling” Of The Ad Industry Isn’t Just Happening In America

I tend to view the advertising industry through an American lens. But over at The Guardian’s Advertising hub blog, Shuan Varga, Chairman and Creative Director of Ingenuity, talks about some problems the UK ad industry is facing in light of budget cutbacks. His arguments sound awfully familiar, except he calls the dismissal of experienced ad […]

Can “The Crowd” Compete?

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Just two and a half years after crowdsourcing agency Victors & Spoils was formed from Crispin’s rib in Boulder, Colorado, the company has sold a majority stake to Havas. That’s rapid return on investment. Which begs the question what is so special about this agency and its controversial business model? John Winsor, V&S’s CEO has […]

The Economy Isn’t Hurting WPP, Far From It

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WPP, the world’s largest marketing services company, earned record profits of more than $1.45 billion for 2011, up a whopping 43% from the year prior year. According to Ad Age, income at WPP was up was up 11.4% year-over-year to $16.05 billion. I’d like to ask that you pause, like I am, and consider this […]

It’s Amusing That Jimmy Smith Switched Holding Companies For His New Venture

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Veteran TBWA/Chiat/Day Creative Director Jimmy Smith has decided to form a new venture called Amusement Park Entertainment. And while that’s news by itself, what’s more interesting is that he’s decided to have IPG as his backer, not Omnicom, the parent company of TBWA. He’s also spent time at BBDO (also owned by Omnicom) and independent […]

A More Engaged Holding Company

Some big news happening today at my agency, Partners + Napier. We’re now part of Project Worldwide, a recently formed holding company that’s looking to put together agencies and marketing firms from multiple disciplines to focus more on consumer engagement at all levels. The New York Times has more: The holding company is Project WorldWide […]

Great Idea. Now Make It Go Global.

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that a new super group has been formed. This one’s called Possible Worldwide. Owned by WPP, Possible is made of these digital-specialist parts: New York-based Schematic, Cincinnati-based Bridge Worldwide, Singapore-based Blue Interactive and New Delhi-based Quasar. “We see the digital business becoming more complex not only from a technical […]

Publicis Has The Numbers Investors Like To See

The agency business is in the dumps. That’s what we hear from the press, right? Wrong! According to The Wall Street Journal, Publicis Groupe posted organic revenue growth for the last quarter of 2010–a key metric in the advertising industry that strips out acquisitions, disposals and currency effects–of 12.5%, almost twice what analysts had expected […]