October 25, 2021

Media Decoder: Publicis Groupe, Awaiting a Big Deal, Makes Another

The acquisition is being made by the Publicis Groupe, based in Paris, which agreed late last month to merge with the Omnicom Group, based in New York, to form the Publicis Omnicom Group, which will be a new industry leader in revenue. Publicis is acquiring Engauge Marketing, an advertising and digital-services agency based in Columbus, Ohio, with offices in Atlanta, Pittsburgh and Orlando, Fla. The price was not disclosed.

Engauge was formed in 2007 by Stan Rapp, a longtime direct marketer, and Halyard Capital, a private equity firm in New York, which was the majority owner. Their goal was to acquire agencies in fields like direct marketing, behavioral targeting and data analytics, then roll them into one agency under the Engauge name.

But the plans to grow much larger through acquisitions slowed after the recession, while the giants of the industry kept expanding. Examples include the Publicis-Omnicom merger, the acquisition of the Aegis Group by Dentsu and the acquisition of LBi by Publicis. The trade publication Advertising Age reported that the owners of Engauge, which had revenue last year of $39 million, had been shopping the agency to various ad holding groups for about a year.

“As we explored opportunities,” Nick Bandy, chief executive of Engauge, said in a telephone interview on Wednesday, it became apparent that Publicis was “the group we felt most the aligned with, the most comfortable with, the best home for our associates and our clients.”

Engauge has more than 250 employees and clients that include Cisco Systems, Coca-Cola and Nationwide Insurance.

Engauge will keep its name and report to a Publicis agency named Moxie, which is a division of the ZenithOptimedia Group at Publicis. Moxie has about 350 employees at its headquarters in Atlanta and offices in Los Angeles and New York.

Engauge is “a fantastic complement to Moxie,” said Suzy Deering, chief executive of Moxie, who joined Mr. Bandy for the interview. “Engauge has a very strong list of clients,” she added.

How Engauge and Moxie will be staffed and located in Atlanta is “to be sorted out,” Ms. Deering said. She and Mr. Bandy played down suggestions of possible cuts. Both agencies “are very busy” and “there’s plenty to do together,” he said.

Article source: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/15/business/media/publicis-groupe-awaiting-a-big-deal-makes-another.html?partner=rss&emc=rss


David Beck, vice president for strategic initiatives in the office of the chief executive at Univision Communications, New York, was promoted to a new post, senior vice president for social media.

Jeff Brecker joined R/GA, part of the Interpublic Group of Companies, as vice president and managing director for the Chicago office. He succeeds Sean McCarthy, who left in November. Mr. Brecker had been managing director for the Chicago office of Digital Kitchen. Digital Kitchen is hiring Dave Trifiletti to serve as managing director for its Chicago and Seattle offices; in addition to assuming what had been Mr. Brecker’s duties in Chicago, Mr. Trifiletti will also assume the duties of Eric Oldrin, who had been managing director for the Seattle office before leaving Digital Kitchen.

Julian Cole, a strategy director at the New York office of Bartle Bogle Hegarty, part of the Publicis Groupe, was promoted to a new post, communications planning department head, and will continue to be in charge of the agency’s work as the lead creative agency on the Sony PlayStation account.

“The Dog Strikes Back,” the Volkswagen Beetle commercial that Volkswagen of America ran during Super Bowl XLVI in February 2012, was named the Ad of the Year by Nielsen as part of the seventh annual Nielsen Automotive Advertising Awards. The awards, presented during the 2013 New York International Auto Show, honor automotive television commercials for effectiveness. The commercial was created by Deutsch L.A., which is the Marina del Rey, Calif., office of Deutsch, part of the Lowe Partners division of the Interpublic Group of Companies.

Kerryann Driscoll and Patrick LaCroix, group account directors at Blitz Media, Boston, were promoted to new posts. Ms. Driscoll becomes director for marketing and Mr. LaCroix becomes director for innovation.

Vin Farrell joined Havas Worldwide, New York, part of the Havas Creative unit of Havas, in a new post, global chief content officer. He had been senior vice president for creative operations at R/GA, New York, part of the Interpublic Group of Companies.

Hudson Valley Tourism, which seeks to draw visitors and businesses to Columbia, Orange, Putnam, Rensselaer and six other counties north of New York City, selected Co-Communications as its agency of record, working with Harquin Graphics, Pelham, N.Y., a branding agency. Billings have not been determined. Co-Communications, which has offices in Mount Kisco, N.Y., and Hartford, Conn., is taking over the account from the First Brain Media Group, Wyckoff, N.J.

Jon Krevolin joined 360i, New York, part of Dentsu, as a group creative director. He had most recently been a senior vice president and senior creative director at BBDO New York, part of the BBDO North America division of BBDO Worldwide, which is part of the Omnicom Group.

Tim Letscher joined Colle McVoy, Minneapolis, part of MDC Partners, in a new post, director for digital strategy and analytics. He had most recently been senior strategist for brand activation at Carmichael Lynch, Minneapolis, part of the Interpublic Group of Companies.

Clive Maclean joined Cenergy, East Aurora, N.Y., in a new post, executive vice president. He had most recently been chief executive at Havas 4D, Chicago, part of the Havas Worldwide division of Havas Creative, which is owned by Havas.

Nic Owen joined the Amsterdam office of 72andSunny, part of MDC Partners, in a new post, managing director. He had been head of account management at Anomaly New York, part of the Anomaly unit of MDC.

Christian Parkes joined Myspace, Los Angeles, in a new post, vice president for global marketing. He had been global senior director for marketing at Levi Strauss Company, San Francisco.

Ryan Peck and Scott O’Leary joined Carmichael Lynch, Minneapolis, part of the Interpublic Group of Companies, as creative directors. They had been creative directors at Fallon Worldwide, Minneapolis, part of the Publicis Groupe.

Article source: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/08/business/webdenda.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

Media Decoder Blog: American Honda Divides Its Biggest Ad Assignments

One of the largest recent reviews for an advertising account has ended with the incumbent agency keeping a significant part of the assignment, but relinquishing two large pieces to two other agencies.

The American Honda Motor Company, based in Torrance, Calif., said on Monday evening that it had concluded the review, which began in early December, with a split decision. The company, part of the Honda Motor Company Ltd. of Japan, spends more than $1.1 billion a year on advertising in the United States.

When the review began, RPA, an agency in Santa Monica, Calif., handled the creative assignments for the company’s two automotive brands, Honda and Acura, as well as the media planning and buying duties — that is, deciding where ads run and negotiating over how much to pay for them — for both.

RPA will keep creating ads for the Honda brand, American Honda Motor decided, but the task of creating ads for the Acura brand will be shifted to Mullen, an agency in Boston that is owned by the Interpublic Group of Companies. Mullen has previously created ads for automotive brands like BMW.

RPA, which is independent, and Mullen were among four creative agencies that were finalists in the American Honda Motor review. The others were another Interpublic agency, the Martin Agency in Richmond, Va., and a Los Angeles agency, 72andSunny, which is part of MDC Partners.

The media planning and buying duties are leaving RPA for MediaVest, a giant media-specialist agency that is part of the Starcom MediaVest Group division of the Publicis Groupe. MediaVest competed in the review against media agencies that included Horizon Media and the PHD division of the Omnicom Group.

The review did not affect American Honda Motor’s relationship with two agencies that create ads aimed at consumers who are members of minority groups.

Those agencies are Muse Communications in Culver City, Calif., which creates ads aimed at African-American and Asian-American consumers, and La Agencia de Orci Asociados in Los Angeles, which creates ads aimed at Hispanic consumers.

All five agencies will be part of a new structure being created by American Honda Motor, which is to place the company at the center of what it calls a team of agency partners. The agencies will have space at the company’s office in Torrance that they can use in addition to their own offices.

“We are creating a new and highly collaborative path forward that will yield outstanding creative and enable us to focus more of our marketing investment in communicating with our customers,” Michael Accavitti, vice president for national marketing operations at American Honda Motor, said in a statement.

RPA had been the Acura brand’s creative agency since 1999. And RPA has created Honda brand advertising since it opened as Rubin Postaer Associates in 1986, spun off from what had been the Los Angeles office of the agency known as Needham Harper Steers and also Needham Harper Worldwide.

(The Needham Harper office began creating Honda ads in 1974. So depending on how lineage is traced, it could be said that RPA and its predecessors have been working on Honda for 39 years.)

RPA has other clients in addition to American Honda Motor, among them Farmers Insurance and La-Z-Boy. Adage.com, citing executives familiar with the matter, said the American Honda Motor account had represented more than half the agency’s total business.

Article source: http://mediadecoder.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/03/18/american-honda-divides-its-biggest-ad-assignments/?partner=rss&emc=rss

Webdenda: Webdenda

Linda Bailey and Stacey Davis joined the Cadient Group, King of Prussia, Pa. Ms. Bailey becomes senior copywriter; she had been a lead writer at the Newtown, Pa., office of InVentiv Health. Ms. Davis becomes creative director for copy; she has worked as a freelance creative director, copywriter and marketing consultant for the last decade.

Hester Bloch joined Isobar, London, in a new post, global chief marketing officer. She had been global marketing director at AKQA, part of WPP. Isobar is part of the Aegis Group, which is being acquired by Dentsu.

Jonathan Bokor joined MediaVest, New York, in a new post, senior vice president and director for advanced media. He had been general manager for interactive television solutions at Canoe Ventures, New York. MediaVest is part of the Starcom MediaVest Group division of the Publicis Groupe.

Bold Communications Group, Daniel Island, S.C., and Pearson DeBoer Creative Solutions, Salisbury, N.C., are merging under the Bold Communications Group name. Financial terms were not disclosed. Pearson DeBoer becomes the Salisbury office of Bold. Matthew DeBoer, a partner at Pearson DeBoer, is leaving to pursue other opportunities, the merged agency said. Patrick Pearson, a partner at Pearson DeBoer, becomes vice president and general manager at Bold. Jonathan Weaver, creative director at Pearson DeBoer, becomes creative director at Bold.

Michael Bryce joined DraftFCB, part of the Interpublic Group of Companies, as executive vice president and executive creative director for the Irvine, Calif., office and a satellite office that the agency is open soon in Los Angeles. He succeeds Teddy Brown, who is now at the DraftFCB headquarters in Chicago as an executive creative director. Mr. Bryce had most recently been creative director at 72andSunny, Los Angeles, part of MDC Partners.

Jana Carriere joined Scales Advertising, St. Paul, in a new post, client services director. She had most recently been an account supervisor at the New York office of TPN, part of the Omnicom Group.

Catalyst Public Relations, New York, was acquired by IMG Worldwide, New York, as IMG seeks to expand into the communications realm. Financial terms were not disclosed. Catalyst, which also has offices in Charlotte, N.C., and Los Angeles, will operate under its current name and management as part of the consulting business at IMG.

Adam Chandler joined the New York office of Jumptap in a new post, senior vice president for sales. He had most recently been executive in residence at Lerer Ventures and before that was chief revenue officer at the Thrillist Media Group, New York. Jumptap created the sales post after Todd Anderman, who had been chief revenue officer, left to join Thrillist as president for sales, marketing and operations; Mr. Anderman’s post at Thrillist, which is new, includes the duties that Mr. Chandler had handled there.

Sabrina Chapman joined SKG, Las Vegas, as a public relations account executive. She had most recently been a writer for publications like Las Vegas Weekly and Las Vegas magazine, covering spirits and cocktails.

Dbray Media, Parsippany, N.J., was hired by three clients. They are: Becker Brothers, Montclair, N.J., and New York, a real estate firm; Cinchcast, New York, a webcasting company that had previously worked with Affect, New York; and MyEchain, Raleigh, N.C., which offers apps that help consumers upload, store and organize their loyalty cards, membership cards and rewards cards.

Dentsu, Tokyo, said it would encourage certain employees to retire early with an incentive program. The effort is aimed at employees who will be ages 40 to 59 as of March 31 and will have worked at Dentsu for 10 years or longer. It is the sixth early-retirement incentive program at Dentsu and the first since 2007.

Mark Hansen joined the Chicago office of DDB Worldwide, part of the Omnicom Group, as executive vice president and director for account management. He assumes those duties from Peter McGuinness, chief executive at DDB Chicago, who had been acting as head of accounts for the last 18 months, the agency said. Mr. Hansen had been group account director for North America at TBWA/Chiat/Day Los Angeles, which is the Playa del Rey, Calif., office of TBWA/Chiat/Day, part of the TBWA Worldwide division of Omnicom.

Jason Hoffman joined Optimedia, New York, in a new post, senior vice president for digital. He had been head of United States digital media and strategy at OMD, part of the Omnicom Media Group division of the Omnicom Group. Optimedia is part of the ZenithOptimedia division of the Publicis Groupe.

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:

Correction: January 14, 2013

An earlier version of this column misidentified the New Jersey city where the real estate firm Becker Brothers, a client of Dbray Media, is based. It is Montclair, not Roseland.


Article source: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/14/business/media/webdenda.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

The Media Equation: At Time Inc., a Leader to Help It Fit the New Digital Order

But all of that is pretty small beer compared with last week’s news that Time Inc., the largest magazine publisher in the United States, would be run by Laura Lang, who was the chief executive of the digital advertising agency Digitas. Talk about your loud and clear knock on the door. That digital future we are always talking about is here.

It’s a bold hire and Ms. Lang has an excellent reputation, but it’s a bracing moment for the print romantics among us. Time Inc., the home of Olympian brands like Time, People and Fortune, will be run by an executive who would not know a print run from a can of green beans.

As recently as, well, the day before Ms. Lang was hired, it would have been unthinkable that a large consumer magazine group would be run by someone with plenty of experience buying ads for clients, but with no experience selling them. But Ms. Lang knows other things that could come in handy, including how to use multimedia and social media to increase reader engagement in a way magazines rarely achieve.

As the head of Digitas, a unit of the Publicis Groupe, she was at the vanguard of a movement to direct advertising dollars toward specific audiences and away from big advertising buys adjacent to articles — in other words, away from businesses like Time Inc.

As far back as five years ago she articulated the shift.

“We’re seeing clients shift dollars into channels that can get a direct engagement, that can get a direct, accountable experience” she said in an interview with Direct, a marketing industry publication.

That doesn’t sound like a two-page ad spread in Fortune to me.

Traditional media has historically done well by selling inefficiency. In order to reach those among People magazine’s 3.5 million readers who were interested in buying a car or a coffeepot, you had to buy an ad that everyone else flipped past. As a serious practitioner of the science of audience-and-data-driven buys, Ms. Lang helped clients erase those inefficiencies through targeted buys, allowing them to get the milk without having to buy the whole cow.

A good magazine will do many things for a brand, including bestowing luster and creating awareness by osmosis. What magazines have not been able to do is to provide reliable measures of effectiveness. Part of the reason that magazine companies have so eagerly hopped on the iPad and other tablets is that those products will finally be able to provide data showing a return on the investment of advertising dollars. It isn’t a reach to bet that Ms. Lang will help magazine publishers be a part of a media age built on metrics.

In an e-mail on Friday, Ms. Lang said Time Inc.’s publications could be a great fit in a digital era.

“This role at Time Inc. affords me a significant opportunity to influence our industry from a different lens,” she said, “specifically content, brands, publishing, editorial, the consumer and the web that connects these five elements together.”

She added: “I still believe that data-driven ad purchasing has clear and tangible benefits,” but “I also believe that the ‘inventory’ must be compelling, surprising and offer customers and clients benefits that are sustainable and scalable.” She thinks that Time Inc.’s magazines more than meet these criteria.

By inventory, I take it to mean the likes of People, InStyle and Time. Maybe the time really has arrived for someone like her, a leader who is less captivated by the luster of the brands and is more attuned to explaining what they can deliver in actual results.

When a publication moves onto the iPad, it loses the shackles of the print medium. A magazine really is more than a magazine when you add video, links to advertisers, and other editorial content. That should mean that a brand like Sports Illustrated can become companion media during the Final Four, and People magazine could host a red carpet warm-up for the Oscars. Instead of covering seminal events after the fact, magazines can get right in the middle of them in real time.

E-mail: carr@nytimes.com;


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Advertising: Interpublic, 5 Years and 180 Degrees Later

On March 27, 2006, executives of Interpublic, the giant agency holding company, had, for the first time, a daylong meeting with Wall Street. The intent was to reassure nervous investors that Interpublic was finally turning around after almost four years of struggling with serious financial and operational problems.

On Tuesday, Interpublic, which owns agencies like Huge, Mullen and Weber Shandwick, held its second such meeting, which was, like the first, called Investor Day. More than 200 stock analysts, shareholders, hedge fund managers, executives from rating services and reporters attended the follow-up, at the Times Center in Midtown Manhattan.

This time, the purpose was to report on Interpublic’s considerable progress since the first meeting and declare confidently that additional ambitious goals could be met.

One such goal is continuing to improve profit margins at Interpublic, the world’s fourth-largest agency company in revenue, so they match those of peers and competitors like WPP, which is first; the Omnicom Group, No. 2; and the Publicis Groupe, third.


“It’s a little bit easier of a meeting today than it was five years ago,” Frank Mergenthaler, executive vice president and chief financial officer of Interpublic, said with a smile.

“We’re a much different company than we were five years ago,” he added, when financial oversight was so lax that “Interpublic was out of control.”

Interpublic “will attain peer-level margins” of 13 percent, Mr. Mergenthaler said, compared with 8.4 percent last year.

“It’s not if, it’s when,” he added, then proceeded to proffer a date: by 2014.

When Mr. Mergenthaler spoke at the first Investor Day, he was the fourth chief financial officer at Interpublic in four years. His presence at the second one, in the same post, said more than any PowerPoint presentation could.

Still, there were many slide shows and speeches and slick video clips during the meeting, which ran almost six hours. (The first one ran eight, including a brief power failure.) The audience heard from senior managers of the major Interpublic units — DraftFCB, Lowe Partners Worldwide, the McCann Worldgroup and Mediabrands — and top officers of Interpublic.

“A lot of people came up to me and said, ‘You must be feeling pretty good about where this company has gone,’ ” said Michael I. Roth, chairman and chief executive of Interpublic. He also held those posts at the first Investor Day, where he led the efforts to sell the turnaround story.

“I was asked, ‘Is today’s presentation sort of a victory lap?’ ” Mr. Roth continued. “What I’d say is that it’s a recognition we’re a real company and that, collectively, we’ve delivered a lot.”

“The opportunity is there,” he added, to deliver more, pointing to the recent decisions by Interpublic to resume paying a dividend and buying back shares.

In an interview, he was asked about the timing of Investor Day 2.0. “Now that the economy is turning around,” he said, “this is the right time to show how we’re positioned for the future.”

In an odd way, Interpublic may have benefited from the timing of its problems, which began to emerge in mid-2002. They included accounting irregularities, restatements of financial results and an investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission that ended with the payment of a civil penalty of $12 million.

The ensuing measures to turn Interpublic around led to its operating conservatively in the boom years before the global financial crisis; for instance, it cut back on expensive acquisitions. That may have helped Interpublic in its efforts to get back on track.

Although “it was obviously a difficult period for IPG,” Mr. Roth said, using the stock-ticker symbol for Interpublic, “the difficulties positioned us well.”

An analyst who attended both meetings described as “impressive” what Interpublic achieved from 2006 to 2011.

“Clearly, they’ve come a long way,” said Alexia Quadrani, who was at Bear Stearns then and is at J. P. Morgan Securities now.

“The targets seem achievable,” she added, referring to remarks by Mr. Mergenthaler, “so long as we have a healthy economy.”

In trading on Tuesday on the New York Stock Exchange, Interpublic shares closed at $12.10, down a penny. On Investor Day 2006, they closed at $10.05; in the ensuing years, the price ranged from $2.61 to $13.81.

The Interpublic executives sought to keep the meeting looking forward more than back.

For instance, Matt Seiler, chief executive of Mediabrands, which oversees media agencies like Initiative and Universal McCann, announced a reorganization that replaces the traditional model of geographic regions with clusters based on the economic status and potential of countries. One cluster will include Brazil, Britain, China, France, Germany, India and Russia, while another will include Africa, the Baltics, the Middle East and Turkey.

And Darren Moran, the new executive vice president and chief creative officer at the New York office of DraftFCB, offered a preview of a commercial for the Oreo cookie line sold by Kraft Foods. The spot, for Oreo Fudge Cremes, shows a family expressing surprise at the taste by exclaiming eyebrow-raising catchphrases like “Shut the front door!” and “Franklin Delano!”


Although Mr. Roth and Mr. Mergenthaler returned from the first Investor Day, several others who made presentations in 2006 did not because they had left Interpublic. Among them were the former leaders of Lowe and the Mediabrands predecessor, the Interpublic Media Group.

Also different were the operations that concerned the audience members. In 2006, they asked about the subpar performances of Lowe and the media agencies. Five years later, those holdings having been deemed recovered, the questions were about results at the McCann Worldgroup, the largest Interpublic unit, which has lost some large accounts and undergone executive reshufflings.

“The Worldgroup wasn’t broken,” Mr. Roth said. “It just had to be transformed.” Among the shifts were the hiring of managers like Nick Brien, chief executive, and Mark Landsberg, chief executive of MRM Worldwide.

Ms. Quadrani said she believed “the Worldgroup problems are not as dire as those at the media group and Lowe five years ago.”

“It’s not like it’s broken,” she added. “It just needs to improve.”

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