Doner : advertising & marketing assignments

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Doner was until recently one of America's biggest independent advertising agencies. In 2012, though, it sold a significant minority stake to MDC Partners, and is now majority owned by that group. It operates mainly in the US, but also has a small presence in the UK. The US agency grew rapidly during the late 1990s following the capture of the local Mazda account in 1997, and was responsible for developing the car company's popular and long-running "Zoom Zoom" campaign. However, Doner struggled after 2006 with a series of client losses. It attempted to stem that losing streak with an updated image and, following the retirement of longtime CEO Alan Kalter, a refreshed management team. Those changes were not enough to prevent the departure of Mazda as well a few months later. Doner mounted an aggressive new business drive, which began to deliver results towards the end of the year, not least a position on what is now the Fiat Chrysler roster. Even so, the loss of such a major account also encouraged a complete change of corporate strategy, and Doner's manager-shareholders finally agreed to surrender their independence, selling an initial 30% stake to MDC Partners in 2012. MDC has since increased that holding to 100%. David DeMuth remains CEO of Doner; Eric Weisberg is chief creative officer. AdAge estimated revenues of $106m in 2017. In 1995, Doner acquired a sizeable stake in the London office of GGK, renamed Doner Cardwell Hawkins, which became the hub for Doner's international BP business until 1998. Following the loss of BP, DCH added new local clients, and eventually dropped its original name in 2012, becoming Doner UK. However, the client list dwindled and the agency finally closed its doors in 2019. WB Doner & Co was originally founded in 1937 by Wilfred Broderick ("Brod") Doner, then just 22 years of age. He ran it for the next 40 years.

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Adbrands Account Assignments track account management for the world's leading brands and companies, including details of which advertising agency handles which accounts in which countries for major markets.

Capsule checked 5th October 2018

Recent stories from Adbrands Update:

Adbrands Social Media 3rd Dec 2015: "The Force Gathers". There seems to be a bit of excitement about some new movie opening soon... Star something...? Anyone know about it? Fiat Chrysler Automobiles have gone completely overboard with cross-promotions with no less than seven (and counting) new spots, covering all of the group's brands, all ads from the Doner agency. The quality varies a little. This one for Dodge is the best, for its sense of humour. 

Adbrands Weekly Update 2nd July 2015: Ads of the Week "House Sitter". Robot vacuum cleaners know more about life than we do. The West Coast office of MDC's Doner agency has come up with a collection of superb gags for the new campaign for Neato, a brand we hadn't heard of before, but which we now totally love because of these spots. Now *that's* the power of advertising. Brilliant jokes, and also some great wry punchlines for the close-out frames about just what exactly Neato Knows... See the others on our Facebook page.

Adbrands Weekly Update 10th Oct 2013: JC Penney's new marketing chief Debra Berman announced another shakeup of the struggling retailer's marketing roster. Out goes Y&R New York, appointed at the start of the year by Berman's predecessor, consultant Sergio Zyman. In comes Doner to handle mainstream advertising, with support on digital and social media from viral specialist EVB and crowd-sourcing unit Victors & Spoils. Berman has also ditched Penney's redesigned flag logo, introduced by former CEO Ron Johnson, in favour of the old traditional logo from three years ago.

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