Ed Hermann, the actor who played Herman Munster in the movie "Here Come the Munsters" and currently a pitchman for Dodge, was seen fraternizing with another auto brand. "Don't jump to conclusions," warned Jim Rogers, general marketing manager at Lincoln, after Ed attended a Lincoln event during the NYC auto show. Chrysler Group's Jim Schroer said: "That's up to the agency," when asked if Mr. Hermann will disappear from Dodge ads. The agency is Omnicom's PentaMark Worldwide. You may recall, Herman Munster was strictly a one-car guy. His wheels: The Munster Koach, a Model T hearse outfitted with a 289 Ford Cobra powerplant. Grandpa, of course, drove the Drag-u-la, a dragster made out of a coffin.
Bob "Vila" Kuperman has been swinging a heavy hammer over at DDB's New York offices. He's been knocking doors off their hinges. Why? It's all part of a new open-door policy at the agency. Kupe of course came from the original Chiat/Day, which pioneered the open work space, a place without offices altogether. "Bob sent out a memo that said he would tear down the walls too if he could," said Rich Notarianni, DDB's director of media planning. "I would just hope they are not the supporting walls." Although it is scheduled for door removal, DDB's media department is still a closed society. "We have doors but we are thinking of taking the chairs away so that people think on their feet," quipped Rich.
Kupe also recently sent out a memo to all departments regarding the agency's mission under his new leadership. Adages received a copy. Here's an excerpt:
"We are first, last, and always in the business of producing advertising. Not media plans. Not marketing plans. Not research projects. Not client relations. Certainly, we must have expertise and creativity in marketing, but not as an end in itself-only if it helps produce better advertising. Certainly, we must maintain and promote our outstanding planning and media departments, but only if they make our advertising better."
The DDB media department may want to consider hanging on to their doors.
Meanwhile, Alasdair Stewart, president-CEO, Rolls-Royce & Bentley Motor Cars, Auburn Hills, Mich., and a DDB client, was spotted recently at M&C Saatchi's offices in New York. He was attending the agency's presentation of an annual study that measured "Britishness" in advertising. According to Hugh Duthie, M&C's planning director, British brands have been downplaying their Britishness, which has been a mistake. "Our idea is to take obvious British attributes and figure out how to modernize them," said Hugh. M&C has been doing it for British Airways with a clever campaign promoting the airline's new sleeper seats. Rolls Royce is owned by Volkswagen and has taken a back seat to sibling brand Bentley, which is putting out an "economy" model this year. Is Rolls interested in an M&C-style makeover? "We've been talking to them," said Hugh, who caught himself, and then pointed out that Rolls sponsored the "Britishness" survey. It was only natural for the Rolls marketing director to be there, he added.
Contributing: Jean Halliday.
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