First Sweden, Now Canada: CPB Likes Blondes

Toronto agency, Zig, is now CPB Canada.
“CPB has always been about change, forward motion and talent, and this move embraces all of those values,” said Chuck Porter, chairman of CPB and chief strategist of MDC.
This “forward motion” is also neatly timed to draw attention away from the departure of Alex Bogusky, which was the news heard ’round Adlandia last week.

Ad Age, naturally, has an interview with Porter about the move. He says MDC may want to grow the CPB brand in Sao Paulo, Barcelona, and Shanghai (but not Tokyo). He also says the agency name Crispin Porter & Bogusky is going to change to CPB.

…we’re a different agency than we were a few years ago, and we have a lot of new leaders so it’s becoming more inappropriate for anyone’s name to be on the door. Sam Crispin has been gone since 1992.

In my opinion, that’s a lame answer and a lame move. There is personality in proper names, whether the founders work at the agency any longer, or not. CPB sounds like DDB, JWT and all the rest and that’s the problem with it. However, it’s not surprising. As agencies grow big and go global, their personalities change, along with their business practices. So why not the name?
Speaking of changes, Porter says he and Bogusky had spoken about his leaving the agency many times.

He wants to speak out and advocate certain positions, and that’s really not compatible with working for MDC.
…We’ll miss him, and anybody would love to have him as a contributor, but it’s not like it leaves a hole.

Earth to Chuck Porter…it’s great to have confidence in your current team, but Alex Bogusky moving on leaves a hole. Perception is reality, especially in advertising.
The fact that Bogusky’s departure is in part political says a ton about the business we’re in, or more precisely the business CPB and MDC is in. The fact is, there are clients–Burger King among them–who desperately need to be poked, challenged and led in new directions. Agencies like CPB will use all their persuasive powers to bring an award winning ad campaign to life, but that’s the limit of their will to push for change? Come on.



About David Burn

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. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.