It was great to see many of you at last week’s Ad Age A-List & Creativity Awards gala and to celebrate your wins. You all looked marvelous and (largely) behaved yourselves. But now it’s back to the hard work of, well, work.
Numbers and noshes
We’re putting the finishing touches on our Agency Report which will be published on Monday which has all kinds of fascinating data and a few surprises about the industry’s largest agency companies. We can’t offer any spoiler alerts, but there will be a chance for you to dig deeper into the figures and learn how the industry is being reshaped by attending our Inside Pages breakfast on Tuesday the 30th. Our own Bradley Johnson, director of data and analytics, will be on hand to discuss the findings, and we will also chat with Stagwell Group Chief Operating Officer Beth Lester Sidhu on the direction of the ad business. You can get your tickets here.
Hamming it up
As part of the Agency Report -- Ad Age’s 75th--we dug into the archives to build a brief (sorta) history of agencies. But if you can’t wait until Monday, here’s a preview of some appetizing facts.
1974: Ad Age names Cunningham & Walsh as first Agency of the Year. Cunningham & Walsh was acquired in 1982 by Mickelberry, a former meatpacking company that had sold the meats and moved into advertising. Cunningham & Walsh was later bought by N.W. Ayer and shut down in 1987. Ayer closed in 2002. Mickelberry, meanwhile, lives on today as a brand of ham owned by a U.S. subsidiary of Japan’s Mitsubishi Corp.
1985: Martin Sorrell takes a controlling stake in Wire & Plastic Products, a publicly traded U.K. maker of wire baskets and teapots that he will use as a platform to acquire marketing-services ventures. Postscript: WPP still makes metal and plastic-coated kitchenware.
Office space for rent: grand piano not included
Mark Penn, who just took over as MDC’s chairman after investing $100 million into the ailing holding company, is making his first move to trim expenses by unloading some high-priced Manhattan real estate. In a memo penned by Penn obtained by Ad Age last week, he said the group needs to “invest in state-of-the art digital products and offerings–not bloated real estate palaces–so we can put more money into scarce talent.” First up is the holding company’s lavish 745 Fifth Avenue, which he intends to sublet. The office shares space with Bergdorf Goodman and boasts an ornate art deco lobby that houses a grand piano. Upstairs, the office breathtaking views of Central Park, which in real estate parlance is “just steps away.” Buyers might also want to inquire if MDC will kick in the china, crystal and monogrammed linens it hauled out for a luncheon we once attended there.
No slip of the tongue
While announcing Interpublic Group of Cos. earnings today, Chairman-CEO Michael Roth was asked about consultancies and his take on Accenture Interactive’s acquisition of Droga5. “We compete with Accenture, we compete with Droga,” he says. “In fact, the win McCann had with ADT—one of the competitors was Droga.” Then he spoke in an aside to unseen IPG execs in the room: “See, I told you I’d get that in.”
Martin peels out
The Martin Agency is on a roll--literally--after snagging the CarMax business this week. In a release, the agency says it will be creative AOR, charged with helping CarMax integrate the online and in-store car shopping experience. The account was previously held by McKinney. The win marks the Richmond, Virginia’s fourth score in the last five months including UPS and Buffalo Wild Wings. Martin CEO Kristen Cavallo, it should be noted, was named Ad Age’s Executive of the Year, and it looks as if she’s aiming for a repeat in 2020.
Jamming with David Ogilvy
If you have some spare time this weekend, take a listen to my first (and possibly last!) podcast, an interview with the incomparable Shelly Lazarus. The Ogilvy chairman emeritus gives a fascinating and highly entertaining overview of the ad business throughout the years and some keen insights as to where it’s going. And yes, amid the confessions of this adwoman are some interesting tidbits about David Ogilvy. Listen here.
Number of the week: 9
That’s the number of times Ad Age was mentioned in IPG’s earnings call today.