Adbrands Weekly Update 28th October 2010
A weekly round up of key news about 
leading advertisers, agencies and mediaowners
 
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Come and see us on Facebook! You don't have to wait until Thursday for our Ads of the Week. We now post all our favourite ads, not just the top four, on Facebook on a daily basis, as well as a selection of interesting news stories from other media. Come and have a look.

Four of our favourite ads this week: 

Genius Bread "Einstein: Wandering Mind"
by Adam & Eve

Brother "141%: Architect"
by
Grey London

Kronenbourg 1664 "Ace Of Spades"
by Bartle Bogle Hegarty

Bundaberg Rum "Top Shelf Thinking"
by
Leo Burnett Australia

Update only subscribers: click here to view Ads of the Week

Please note: If you are attempting to view these ads shortly after receiving this mailout on a Thursday, you may find that the video streams run slowly because of heavy simultaneous demand from other Adbrands subscribers who have also just received the same email. Please wait for the ads to load before pressing play, or try again later. Apologies for any inconvenience.

Plenty to choose from this week. First up, a cracking campaign by London's Adam & Eve for new Genius gluten-free bread, conceived by chef Lucinda Bruce-Gardyne. The agency has come up with several different scenarios for poor Albert as he struggles to clear his mind of thoughts of sandwiches. See more here. Brilliant..

Grey London has established itself as the go-to agency for complicated technical feats for IT companies. Remember its ads for Toshiba? Here's another great campaign, for Brother printers this time. It involves vast quantities of brilliantly executed stop-motion animation. There are three spots altogether (see the others here as well as a very good making of).

Come with us if you will to a bar somewhere in France, where Motorhead's Lemmy is persuaded by the special qualities of Kronenbourg 1664 to slooooow down his speed metal classic Ace Of Spades. Lovely idea, brought to you by Bartle Bogle Hegarty, who are promising similar performances for the future from other musicians. Presumably the call is already out to John Lydon, Iggy Pop and Ozzy Osbourne.

And finally, a wonderfully bizarre conceit from Leo Burnett Australia for Diageo's local jewel Bundaberg Rum. Great little touches, best of which is that blink from the croc after it's been tee'ed. Huzzah!

Several other great ads just missed the final cut, including a preview of T-Mobile's new flash mob event at Heathrow Airport and new spots by Karmarama for Early Learning Centre, Almap BBDO Brazil for Volkswagen, TBWA Neboko Amsterdam for McDonald's, DDB Paris for Lipton Tea and Ogilvy London for Motorola. Come and see them here on our Facebook page.


In the news this past week: Brands & Advertisers

It's official: PR is the new digital. Several of the world's biggest marketers are changing their strategy to boost consumer engagement through public relations in the same way that they restructured four or five years ago to accommodate the explosion in interactive media. Now, the growth of social media is prompting a return to old-style public relations, but with a more savvy digital edge. In an address to the Council of Public Relations Firms Critical Issues Forum, Procter & Gamble's marketing chief Marc Pritchard said, "This is PR's time to shine. PR is the key for all marketers looking to build meaningful relationships with consumers. When integrated effectively those relationships turn consumers into customers and customers into brand ambassadors." He went on to explain how crucial PR had been in several of the group's most high-profile marketing campaigns this year, not just successes like Old Spice's Smell Like A Man but also in managing the flak P&G encountered over Pampers Dry Max. "PR was able to give our big ideas a megaphone that we used to spur participation that helped lead to spontaneous combustion. PR is going to grow its impact on the future of P&G marketing because it is a great amplifier, builds relationships and invites consumer participation." In a rallying cry which echoed the way in which marketers used to talk to digital agencies a few years ago, he told his audience of PR professionals "You have never had more potential to be fully baked in to the marketing mix or to lead brand-building efforts. You have to step up and make clear what your capabilities are."

It's not just P&G. Coca-Cola this week announced changes to its central marketing department with the aim of improving consumer engagement by better managing unpaid content as well as paid media. Ivan Pollard, currently managing partner at Naked Communications, is to join the Atlanta soft drinks giant in the new role of VP, global connections. Part of his role will be to develop greater consumer engagement from indirect sources, rather than merely from traditional paid-for media. For example, in an internal memo announcing Pollard's appointment (and quoted by AdAge), Coke's SVP, marketing communications Wendy Clark pointed out that less than 20% of the 150m or so views of Coke-related videos on YouTube came from content actually contributed by the company.

Separately, Coca-Cola announced the discontinuation of the British bottled water brand Malvern which it has owned for more than 20 years. It said that the spring and manufacturing plant in Colwall, Worcestershire were no longer economically viable. "We cannot produce enough Malvern Water on the scale it needs to compete in today's bottled water sector," said a spokesperson. "Modern bottled water plants are around ten times the size of Colwall and can often produce more water in a day than we do in a month."

There were hints of further consolidation within the luxury sector. Over the weekend, LVMH revealed that it had secretly accumulated a shareholding of around 17% in prestigious fashion and accessories house Hermes, best-known for its leather goods and silk scarves. The notoriously acquisitive luxury giant had acquired the shares through the market in a series of crafty derivative trades over the past year and a half, at a cost of around €1.45bn. However chairman Bernard Arnault, also France's richest individual, sought to reassure Hermes' controlling family, who control around 75% of its voting shares, that he is not planning a hostile takeover. "The objective of LVMH," said a company statement, "is to be a long-term shareholder of Hermes and to contribute to the preservation of the family and French attributes which are at the heart of the global success of this iconic brand." The statement went on to say that LVMH "fully supports the strategy implemented by the founding family and the management team, who have made the brand one of the jewels of the luxury industry. LVMH has no intention of launching a tender offer, taking control of Hermes nor seeking board representation." Nevertheless, the markets have been buzzing for some time with rumours that Diageo, LVMH's partner in the Moet Hennessy champagne and cognac business, has been pressing the French company to sell up. Such a move could give Arnault an additional €10bn or so with which to fund a more aggressive approach to Hermes. Fearing just such an outcome, the Hermes family issued a robust statement of their own, promising that LVMH's "non-solicited moves on the capital [have] prompted the family to confirm its perfect unity and unanimous will to maintain control in the long term."

In other such developments, Diego Della Vale, the owner of Italian shoe and leather goods maker Tod's, became the biggest shareholder in legendary fashion store Saks Fith Avenue, by increasing his shareholding to just under 20%. Saks controls 48 luxury department stores in the US, as well as the same number of Off Fifth Avenue outlet stores. And, the emir of the Arabic state of Qatar told the Financial Times that he would be interested in acquiring the international auction house Christie's. He already controls a number of significant Western assets, including the prestigious Harrods department store. Christie's is currently owned by French businessman Francois Pinault.

British fashion store Debenhams reported record results in both sales and profits, reflecting its concerted shift towards inhouse labels which offer significantly higher margins. Revenues rose 11% to GBP 2.1bn, although that figure also included a first year's contribution from newly acquired Danish department store Magasin du Nord. Like-for-like sales were flat year-on-year. However sales from the group's own Designers at Debenhams range rose by almost 16% and now account for almost a quarter of total sales. As a result, pretax profits before exceptional items jumped by more than 20% to GBP 140m.

In personnel news, Kraft's newly acquired Cadbury business has lost yet another top marketer. Margaret Jobling, who was named interim group marketing director following the departure of Phil Rumbol earlier this year, has herself resigned to take up the top UK marketing job at frozen foods group Birds Eye Iglo.

There was another setback for pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline. The group agreed to pay a fine of $750m to the US Justice Department to settle criminal charges that it released defective drugs into the US healthcare system as a result of poor manufacturing controls at a plant in Puerto Rico over a period of five years from 2001 to 2005. Several products were affected by the faults, including the antidepressant Paxil, Kytril anti-nausea medication, Bactroban baby ointment and Avandamet for diabetes. No patients were harmed by the defective products, but the Justice Department is keen to make an example of the company to guard against more serious future cases. The problems at the Puerto Rico plant were brought to public attention when Cheryl Eckerd, one of the company's own quality assurance investigators, issued a lawsuit against it after her warnings of the errors were ignored. As a result, she will be rewarded with a portion of the GSK fine under a federal scheme designed to encourage whistleblowers to come forward. Her likely payout will exceed $96m.

BMW announced plans to begin testing short-term rentals of its cars, along similar lines to the global car club Zipcar. It is launching the BMW On Demand scheme in Germany through BMW Welt, its state-of-the-art showroom and exhibition centre in Munich. Prices range from €16 per hour for the compact 1 series to €32 per hour for a series 7 sedan. Peugeot and Daimler's Smart are also testing rental schemes in various European markets.


In the news this past week: Agencies

Sir Martin Sorrell issued an advance bulletin on WPP's Q3 results, due out on Friday. Addressing a conference in Germany, he said that the quarter just ended had been WPP's best in 10 years, with organic revenue growth at its highest level since the end of the 1990s as a result of a surge in ad expenditure from consumer goods manufacturers and retailers. "We've seen sequential improvement - month-by-month improvement - through to September, with the exception of June." Those comments suggested that the organic increase could be as high as 8%, ahead of WPP's original forecast of 6%.

The Wall Street Journal reported on a new drive by the major global marketing groups to build their presence in Africa, now seen as the next big growth market. WPP, Publicis, Omnicom and Havas have all recently established broader links in countries such as Nigeria, Angola, Kenya, Ghana and Tunisia. WPP's Sir Martin Sorrell told WSJ that being present in Africa is as important as being in China or India. The group has boosted revenue on the continent from $150m to $500m over the past four years. "People say it's small," Sorrell told the WSJ, "but $500m is the same as [WPP makes in] India, about half of China and the same as Brazil. And it's growing very rapidly." See the full story here.

Further details emerged regarding the restructuring of the UK subsidiaries of Canadian marketing group Cossette, which include advertising agency MCBD, digital shop Dare and direct marketer Elvis. Cossette is planning to establish two separate but more evenly balanced units, merging MCBD into Dare and strengthening Elvis to form a larger and more broadly based equivalent shop. The MCBD name will be phased out. The management team of the enlarged Dare business has yet to be announced, but several MCBD staff are already transferring to Elvis. David Bainbridge, formerly marketing director of the BBC and currently MCBD's vice-chairman, is to become joint chief executive of Elvis alongside that agency's founder Martin Semmens. MCBD's planning director Carl Ratcliff joins as executive planning director, while Elvis' other founder Mark Leversedge will move to a central strategic role within Cossette UK, under local COO Gregor Angus.

There were similar moves over at another UK group, Engine, which completed a merger of its own advertising agency WCRS with digital unit Altogether. In this case, the well-established WCRS name remains. Penny Herriman was named as CEO of the merged business, reporting to joint group chief executive Debbie Klein. Altogether has operated as a standalone unit of Engine since 2008 when it was created from the merger of three separate units - Meme, DC Interact and Eyefall - which had been acquired or launched by WCRS.

Crispin Porter & Bogusky shuffled management to prepare for the next phase of its expansion. President & CEO Jeff Hicks moved up to vice chairman under chairman Chuck Porter. His duties were split between Alex Keller, who takes on the job of CEO, and Jeff Steinhour, who becomes president. Keller's longtime creative partner and co-executive creative director Rob Reilly was named as global chief creative officer.

Y&R named Jaime Prieto as regional director for the EMEA region, replacing Massimo Costa, who surrendered the role earlier this year. Prieto was previously international managing director on the agency's Colgate-Palmolive account. Separately, Andrew McLean replaced Scott Hagedorn as president of the North American arm of Omnicom's PHD media network. Hagedorn has moved across to head up Annalect, a new digital and data analytics unit under the Omnicom Media Group umbrella.

Omnicom creative agency GSD&M Idea City is to surrender its position as creative lead on BMW's global account when its current contract expires at the end of the year. GSD&M management told staff that the agency had initiated that decision for several reasons, not least the fact that it wasn't making enough money from the account and wasn't able to exercise as much creative freedom as it wanted. Adding to the estrangement was the tragic death earlier this year of BMW's North American marketing chief Jack Pitney, with whom the agency had established a strong working relationship. In the short term, BMW charged BBDO's Interone unit, already its main digital agency in Germany, with taking control of the "Story of Joy" global campaign originally developed by GSD&M.

In account assignments, L'Oreal consolidated its traditional media budget in China - thought to be one of the country's two biggest accounts - with Mindshare. Previously the business was split with the local Optimedia office. Publicis Groupe's VivaKi keeps hold of digital media for now, although a review is expected next year. In the US, the California State Lottery chose David & Goliath to take charge of its creative account. In the UK, Santander launched a statutory review of its local advertising business, currently managed by WCRS. The agency is defending. Kellogg's charged Glue Isobar with its pan-European digital account. Appliance manufacturer Indesit called a review of European media, split mainly between Carat and Initiative. Adam & Eve joined the Sony Computer Entertainment roster for Europe. For all appointments, subscribers can access the full Adbrands Account Assignments database here


In the news this past week: Media

IPC Media, the UK magazine publishing arm of Time Warner, has confirmed the sale of Loaded, arguably the originator of the British "lads' mag" phenomenon of the 1990s. Over the past decade, though, sales of Loaded have plummeted, as have those of other titles in the sector. As a result, IPC has taken the decision to offload the title along with a clutch of lesser known specialist magazines. The new owner of Loaded is Vitality Publishing, which also acquired tow other IPC titles Superbike and Prediction.

Bob Guccione, the creator and publisher of adult magazine Penthouse, died after a long illness. Although widely regarded as an American invention, Guccione actually launched Penthouse in Britain in 1965, before creating the US edition four years later. Although sometimes regarded - even at first by its creator - as a copy of Hugh Hefner's Playboy, Penthouse actually overtook its longtime rival during the 1980s, making Guccione one of the adult industry's first multi-millionaires. In 1983, Forbes valued his wealth at $400m, equivalent to around $1bn today. Newsstand sales peaked at over 5m copies in 1984. Yet disastrous investments and the rise of first video and then internet pornography caused Guccione's empire to crumble in the late 1990s, and his General Media publishing company eventually filed for bankruptcy in 2003. Unlike Hefner, who revelled in his playboy image, Guccione was a somewhat shy and retiring figure. Although he married four times in all, his most significant relationship was with his third wife and business partner Kathy Keeton, with whom he spent 32 years until her death in 1997.

Yahoo filled the gap left by the resignation of Hilary Schneider, EVP North American operations, by recruiting Ross Levinsohn, a former head of News Corporation's Fox Interactive Media division. Levinsohn's appointment should help to deflect some of the negative media buzz that has been surrounding Yahoo in recent weeks. An experienced dealmaker with a strong track record, he is perhaps best known as the man who engineered News Corp's acquisition of MySpace in 2005 against strong competition from Viacom and other groups. Although, MySpace's star has waned in recent years, News Corp turned a quick profit on the $560m acquisition in 2005 by agreeing a $1bn advertising partnership with Google. Most recently, Levinsohn has been working in the private equity sector. Separately, in the UK, broadcaster Channel 4 named Dan Brooke as its director of marketing & communications.

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Simon Tesler
Publisher, Adbrands