June 25, 2024

Ad Veteran’s New Venture Relies on His Friends

A longtime advertising agency executive, art director and designer is looking to his “friends” for a little help with his new venture.

The executive is Marty Weiss, who is changing his most recent offering, Meter Industries, a brand design and marketing consultancy in New York, into what he is calling Marty Weiss and Friends. The new agency joins a list of Mr. Weiss’s workplaces that also includes Chiat/Day; Weiss, Whitten, Carroll, Stagliano; Weiss Stagliano Partners; and TBWA/Chiat/Day.

The “Friends” in the name is intended to suggest the agency’s model, which is becoming an increasingly familiar one in the advertising business; other examples include Co Collective. Mr. Weiss plans to assemble an appropriate team for each project or assignment from a core group of industry people he knows and firms he has worked with — they will become his case-by-case collaborators.

“I’m not even sure ‘agency’ is the right word,” Mr. Weiss said, “because it’s a bit of an anti-agency.”

Mr. Weiss is promoting his new venture with a campaign in social media, which includes declarations like this one: “We’re not a big holding company. We’re a big hugging company.”

One ad advising that “Meter Industries is now Marty Weiss and Friends” offers a cheeky explanation for the name change: “My therapist suggested I put myself more front and center.”

Among the collaborators on Mr. Weiss’s list are Jon Bond, of agencies like Kirshenbaum Bond Partners and Big Fuel; Megan Kent, of agencies that include Bouchez, Kent, JWT and Starfish; and Lance Porigow, of agencies like Profero. The roster of “friends” also includes JSC Consumer Insights, Skimatics Web Works and Thinkers and Makers.

“What Marty is doing is not unusual right now,” Ms. Kent said, because many people who used to work for well-known agencies “have developed such a network of associates that it’s easy to reach out to the best in breed” and form what she described as “merry bands of all-stars.”

There are other factors fueling the trend, she said, as some people on Madison Avenue “don’t want to work for The Man anymore” and others consider themselves to be “more interested in the ideas than the office politics.”

Mr. Bond said the formation of Marty Weiss and Friends was another example of how much looser the business is now than it used to be.

In fact, when asked what his appearance on Mr. Weiss’s roster means, Mr. Bond replied, laughing, “I guess it means if something comes up we can both work on, he’ll call me.”

Mr. Bond said he would work with Mr. Weiss on entrepreneurial ventures in the spirit of Mr. Bond’s own company, Tomorrow L.L.C., which takes stakes in agencies, media companies and other firms. “Don’t be telling people I’m going to work on their advertising,” Mr. Bond said.

A longtime client of Mr. Weiss’s said he approved of the new venture.

“The key to the success of our campaign is really Marty,” said Chester Brandes, president and chief executive of Imperial Brands, for whom Mr. Weiss created a campaign for Sobieski vodka that carries the theme “The truth about vodka.”

“Having worked with a number of big agencies, what that proved to me is that you don’t need a big agency and a team of 40 people to get brilliant creative,” Mr. Brandes said.

Article source: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/13/business/media/ad-veterans-new-venture-relies-on-his-friends.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

DealBook: Brewer to Buy Remaining Stake in Grupo Modelo

Carlos Brito, chief of Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world's largest brewer.Sebastien Pirlet/ReutersCarlos Brito, chief of Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world’s largest brewer.

Anheuser-Busch InBev agreed on Friday to buy the half of the Mexican brewer Grupo Modelo it does not already own for $20.1 billion, the latest deal in the fast-consolidating global brewing industry.

Anheuser-Busch InBev, whose brands include Budweiser and Stella Artois, said it will pay $9.15 for each share of Grupo Modelo, a 30 percent premium to the company’s closing share price on June 22 before the deal was first reported.

The brewers said the deal would create a company with combined annual revenue of $47 billion with operations in 24 countries and 150,000 employees.

The acquisition would allow the company to expand Grupo Modelo’s brands, like Corona, into new countries worldwide, while giving Anheuser-Busch InBev access to Mexico’s fast-expanding domestic market, according to a joint statement from the companies.

“There is tremendous opportunity from combining two leading brand portfolios and further expanding Grupo Modelo’s brands worldwide,” said Carlos Brito, chief executive of Anheuser-Busch InBev.

Under the terms of the deal, Grupo Modelo will sell its 50 percent stake in Crown Imports, a joint venture with the wine and spirits company Constellation Brands, for $1.85 billion. After the deal, Constellation Brands will own 100 percent of Crown Imports.

As part of an effort to streamline Grupo Modelo’s ownership structure, Diblo, the holding company for the Mexican brewer’s operating subsidiaries, and Dirección de Fábricas, a local glass bottle manufacturer largely dedicated to Grupo Modelo, also will be merged into Grupo Modelo for newly issued shares in the brewer.

The acquisition of Grupo Modelo follows Anheuser-Busch InBev’s announcement in April that it was taking a controlling stake in the Caribbean drinks maker Cerveceria Nacional Dominicana for $1.2 billion.

The deal, which valued the C.N.D. at about $2.5 billion, strengthened Anheuser-Busch InBev’s presence across the Caribbean. The company plans to expand C.N.D.’s beer, malt and soft drink businesses in the Dominican Republic, Antigua, Saint Vincent and Dominica. C.N.D.’s brands include Presidente beer.

Anheuser-Busch InBev was formed in 2008 when the Belgian-Brazilian brewing company InBev acquired Anheuser-Busch for around $52 billion. The deal gave the newly named Anheuser-Busch InBev a 50 percent stake in Grupo Modelo.

The Grupo Modelo deal is the Anheuser-Busch InBev’s second-biggest takeover, trailing only the 2008 transformational acquisition of Anheuser-Busch. It also represents one of the largest transactions announced so far this year at a time when takeover activity has slowed, as concern about the global economy has sapped corporate confidence.

Anheuser-Busch InBev said it would pay for the remaining stake Grupo Modelo that it did not already own through cash reserves and a new $14 billion credit facility.

The companies said the deal would lead to around $600 million of annual cost savings. The acquisition is expected to close in the first quarter of 2013.

Lazard and the law firms Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher Flom, Sullivan Cromwell and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer advised Anheuser-Busch InBev on the deal, while Morgan Stanley and the law firm Cravath Swaine Moore advised Grupo Modelo.

Article source: http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2012/06/29/anheuser-busch-inbev-to-buy-remaining-stake-in-grupo-modelo-for-20-1-billion/?partner=rss&emc=rss