Agency Brief: 2018 bites the dust (now get out of here)

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There were a few moments I wasn't sure (fine, more than a few), but we made it through 2018.

It's been quite a year taking over this beat — my first weekend on the gig, the world's largest holding company lost its CEO (remember that?) and things never really slowed down from there. But it's been tremendously fun to watch this space in 2018. I'm eager to see comes next.

I'll keep it short and sweet — I mean it, there's candy news!— since I have Christmas shopping to finish and a Chicago flight to make. But I wish happy holidays to each of you, agency readers, and I'll talk to you next year. (Unless you have some juicy news... then call me).

FCB played its cards right

Unibet — which offers online sports betting and casino games — has tapped IPG's FCB as its U.S. agency of record. The agency will lead creative, strategy and social for Unibet's new U.S. division, with sibling shop Initiative leading media. Unibet holding company The Kindred Group seeks to expand into the U.S. in the first quarter of 2019, initially planning to launch in New Jersey's regulated sports betting market with plans to expand further after that.

DEG goes DAN

Dentsu Aegis Network announced this week the acquisition of Digital Evolution Group, a Kansas-based digital commerce agency. The shop will become part of Isobar and called "DEG, Linked by Isobar." DEG CEO Neal Sharma will continue to lead the agency, reporting to Isobar U.S. CEO Deb Boyda.

Credit: iStock

Pretty sweet win

Kansas City-based Barkley has been named digital and social agency of record for candy company Haribo. The agency will help the company increase the brand's equity and awareness beyond its Goldbears — and will develop a social media strategy to launch Haribo's new sour brand "Haribo Zing" in early 2019. And since you read this far, here's a fun fact: Haribo, whose global headquarters is in Grafschaft, Germany, is an acronym for the founder's name (Hans Riegel) and the city where the company originated (Bonn, Germany).

Another somethin' sweet

Planet Propaganda partnered with Wisconsin-based candied pecan brand Nutkrack to launch holiday-edition tins of pecan treats — with profits benefitting a food pantry. The tins can be purchased at the Nutkrack retail store in Madison, Wisconsin.

On the move…

Kenneth Parks — former Dentsu Aegis Network CMO — has joined customer experience agency Hero Digital as its first CMO.

FCB New York has brought on Todd Sussman as its new chief strategy officer. Sussman joined FCB in January 2018 as a senior VP and group strategy director, overseeing clients including Lincoln Financial Group, LG Electronics and the FDA. FCB also hired Melanie Mitchem as senior VP and director of global communications and PR. She joins from Columbia Business School, where she was part of the communications team.

Brooklyn-based agency Work & Co has upped Oliver Dore to partner of technology from associate partner. Dore joined the company not long after it began five years ago, working on Virgin America, Aldo and Expa Labs and helping grow the tech team to more than 100 engineers globally. Work & Co has also been expanding its leadership team across disciplines in recent months — including the hiring of Design Director Stéphane Elbaz, formerly at the Outline and founder of General Type Studio; Design Director Steve Hopf, most recently at Ueno; Product Management Director Susie Foster White, formerly of Viacom and Huge; Product Management Director Della Giles, who was previously at Huge; Global Director of Growth Mai Nguyen, formerly ta R/GA; Director of Business Development Stephanie Wiseman, previously at Fluid; and two Strategy Directors, Dawn Moses and Jon Stookey, most recently at Elephant.

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Photo of the week

Happy holidays from a few members of the Ad Age fam (including my amazing editor Judy Pollack —it's her birthday today!)

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