Sorrell touts Nasdaq in ads by Havas shop

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Sometimes what's excluded from an ad sends a message as loud as what's included.

Consider Nasdaq Stock Market's current campaign created by McKinney & Silver, Raleigh, N.C. Themed around the concept of "Thought Leadership," the ads feature serious-talking CEOs, mostly those heading companies in its Nasdaq 100 Trust.

Industry chieftains in the latest broadcast work, which broke in mid-December, include Martin Sorrell, group chief executive at WPP Group, owner of such global agency networks as J. Walter Thompson. WPP has traded on Nasdaq since 1988; McKinney & Silver parent Havas has been on the exchange since 2000. Though neither Havas nor WPP are among the Nasdaq 100 Trust, Mr. Sorrell appears because "we genuinely admire him," said Denise Benou Stires, exec VP-worldwide marketing at Nasdaq. "This campaign is ... about business leaders who are ... category-defining." Mr. Sorrell could not be reached for comment.

ironic

McKinney & Silver created TV and print, while WPP's digital@jwt handled interactive. Asked about the irony of a Havas shop making a commercial lauding Mr. Sorrell's achievements, Brad Brinegar, McKinney & Silver president-CEO, said he "is CEO of a Nasdaq listed firm and a member of Nasdaq's board so it is only natural for him to appear in this campaign."

It's a long-running campaign, however, so the window of opportunity hasn't shut for Havas Chairman-CEO Alain de Pouzilhac.

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