Howdy, ya'll! Whoops, sorry. I'm still in Nashville mode, where we held our Small Agency Conference and Awards this week. Congratulations again to all of the winners, especially our Agency of the Year Gold honoree, Terri & Sandy.
While it may seem like a slow summer Friday, we have lots of fun stuff for you in this week's Agency Brief, which was a lovely team effort (thank you, fellow Ad Agers).
Miller Lite-to-DDB Brews Too Much Excitement
Five Juniper Park employees are following the Miller Lite account to DDB, which picked up creative duties for the brew earlier this week. Juniper Park Toronto had handled Miller Lite's design work, while 180LA was the lead creative shop. The moves include Juniper Park Chief Creative Officer Barry Quinn, who was named chief design officer at DDB North America, suggesting his scope could grow beyond Lite. Quinn will handle his new job from Toronto. He was on the Juniper Park team that won a bronze Lion at Cannes this year for its so-called "Minimalist Can" design for Lite's marketing. Above, the Cannes entry video. On Wednesday 180LA CEO Mike Allen told Ad Age that "no 180LA employees from any department are going to DDB Chicago or Miller Lite."
This Agency Teaches How to Practice Safe Salt
APCO Worldwide's New York and Washington, D.C. offices have worked together to create a campaign around practicing "safe salt," which includes a website that teaches "salt ed." That's right: The initiative aims to address the issue of excess sodium consumption in the country. The effort was created to promote Salt for Life, blend of sea salt and a potassium salt that has 75% less sodium than regular salt. It also includes educational materials, a test and a pledge people can take on practicesafesalt.com.
Lagardère Sports' International Sponsorship Takedown
WWE has hired integrated sports marketing agency Lagardère Sports as its international sponsorship sales agency, with the goal of further developing the entertainment company's partnership portfolio worldwide. And there's no shortage of opportunity (and spandex); WWE provides original content 52 weeks a year in more than 500 live global events.
101 Problems, but an Acquisition Ain't One…
Although the independent shops that win Ad Age's Small Agency awards are often quickly acquired (we're looking at you, Muhtayzik Hoffer, Deportivo and Deeplocal), this one is pretty ridiculous. London-based 101, a 2017 international Small Agency winner this week, is already in talks with Interpublic's MullenLowe about a deal. MullenLowe's London office has suffered a string of high-level departures over the last year; the chief strategy officer and all three executive creative directors quit. The 101 connection: 101's founding partners, Laurence Green and Steve Waring, formerly worked at Fallon with Alex Leikikh, MullenLowe Group's global CEO. Now, Green says, "We are exploring the opportunity with MullenLowe because they also understand and appreciate our creative standards and culture."
Why Can't Agencies Come Up with Original Names?
Creativity's Ann-Christine Diaz reported that JWT has been developing its own artificial intelligence system called Pangaea, similar to Publicis Groupe's recently-announced Marcel, which is also the name of Publicis creative network Marcel. Pangaea, the pre-Ice Age supercontinent, has also been used before. Bcom3, once part of Publicis Groupe, launched a multicultural holding company called Pangea for all Publicis' ethnic agencies back in 2001. Publicis' Pangea was supposed to create a "one-world feeling." Sort of like JWT's Pangaea. The original Pangaea broke into pieces about 175 million years ago. Pangea, the multicultural holding company, lasted a few years and then faded away.
Amsterdam Shop Gets Bigger, but Shorter
Independent Amsterdam-based creative agency KhannaReidinga brought on two new partners, Design Chief Maarten Versteege and Production Veteran Michel de Goede, and expanded its name to KhannaReidingaFaralleyLeBon. Instead of using the new partners' last names, the original founders Rikki Khanna and Hesling Reidinga added "Faralley" and "LeBon," which are loose translations or renditions of Versteege (Far Alley) and de Goede (Le Bon). But have no fear, the shop is calling itself KRFL for short, saving us all from having to write out the full thing in every reference. Some of its recent wins include TomTom, Volkswagen Group's new mobility brand MOIA, Dutch printing firm DrukWerkDeal and Friesland Campina.
WPP-owned digital shop Wunderman is decades old, but it's looking to help its clients learn some new tricks by partnering with Founders Factory, a startup incubator and accelerator, to give clients early access to startups. London-based Founders Factory has been backed by investors including L'Oreal, EasyJet and Guardian Media Group. Through the partnership, Wunderman will work with startups to try to solve business challenges from digital innovation to marketing tech. Founders Factory has backed startups like People.io, an app that lets people exchange their personal data for credits that can be redeemed for digital services, or MedShr, which makes an app that helps medical professionals share and discuss medical cases and images.
Tweet of the Week
Number of the Week
35 – the number of mergers and acquisitions in the events and experiential agency space in the first half of 2017, according to international M&A advisor Results International. The number is more than double the amount of deals made (14) in this sector in the first half of 2016, showing increased interest in the events and experiential industry.
Contributing: E.J. Schultz, Meg Graham, Emma Hall and Laurel Wentz