Advancing online privacy for kids
WPP and SuperAwesome, a kid-tech platform, formed a partnership to advance the standards of online privacy for children. Due to an increase in children’s online consumption patterns, WPP claims to be “the first company among its peers to set a benchmark for the highest standards in digital privacy and safety for kids.” According to the companies, 40 percent of all new internet users are children and the new partnership will build on GroupM’s existing controls to exclude and minimize the risk of children’s exposure to unstable content on social media. The collaboration will help inform brands on how to engage responsibly and in compliance with new global privacy laws designed to protect kids online. WPP says all of its clients will have access to these resources.
“We’re already seeing big changes in family life as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and how we all interact with technology,” WPP CEO Mark Read says. “WPP’s partnership with SuperAwesome is part of our commitment to ensure children’s safety while engaging with content online.”
Interesting insights from recent COVID-19 studies
As the industry seeks to better understand and predict the effects the pandemic has had and will have on its businesses, there has been a slew of studies coming from consultancies, agencies and marketers. Highlighted here are some interesting findings from two such studies.
Marketing consultancy We Are Rosie found in its “Rosie Report: Insights from the Future of Work in Advertising and Marketing,” that 61 percent of traditional full-time marketing employees prefer a “different” work model, and only 1 percent of marketers maintain they “must have a traditional office environment”—showing remote work may become more permanent at many companies. Another interesting point the report uncovered was that only 28 percent of employees said they felt their organization was well prepared to accommodate remote work when the pandemic hit—an insight that runs counter to all the businesses that have been claiming they were easily able to transition their workforce to go remote.
IPG’s Constituency Management Group (CMG) agencies released a report, “The Road to Recovery: How to Navigate the New Marketing Landscape.” In it, agency execs discuss how the pandemic has served as a catalyst for change and why the industry has “an opportunity to prepare for how we define what comes next.” Among the insights: 67 percent of people believe that it’s “very important” for businesses to show how they are taking care of their employees. A bright spot for brick-and-mortar businesses, the study found that only 8 percent of consumers plan to stop going to restaurants and 33 percent say they will visit them more after the pandemic (15 percent will visit less often and 6 percent will visit “more than ever"). The report found only 7 percent of consumers say they will stop visiting retailers, 15 percent say they will visit less often, 29 percent say they will visit them more and 4 percent say they will visit them “more than ever.”
“Our report provides insights from a range of different perspectives for marketers drawing up new playbooks on how they go to market in the face of fast-changing consumer behaviors,” says Andy Polansky, chairman and CEO of IPG’s CMG. “The pandemic has changed overnight how marketers go forward and think about their public relations and employee engagement strategies, as well as the future of sponsorship, experiential and influencer marketing.”
MDC Partners has merged two of its public relations firms, KWT Global and HL Group, which are both part of its Doner Partner Network. Effective June 1, the agencies will combine leadership and operations but keep their respective brand names. The combined entity will be moving into MDC Partners’ new digs at One World Trade Center in New York with additional offices in Los Angeles, London and Toronto—of course, when offices are able to open up again.
Aaron Kwittken, co-founder and CEO of KWT Global, will serve as global CEO of the combined firm. Lynn Tesoro, co-founder and CEO of HL Group, will become founding partner of HL Group. Gabrielle Zucker, co-founder and president of KWT Global, will serve as president of the new firm and continue to report into Kwittken. The combined firm’s client roster includes Deloitte, American Express Global Business Travel, Four Seasons, NetJets, Bonobos, Blink Fitness, PayPal, Sprint and L’Oréal USA, among others.
MDC has been restructuring various of its agencies into combined networks since Mark Penn took over as CEO and chairman of the holding company last year. The efforts saw the formation of Constellation, a collective spanning creative agencies 72andSunny and Crispin Porter Bogusky; digital brand and experience shop Instrument; strategy and design firm Redscout, and production shop Hecho Studios. There is also a Doner-led network, an Anomaly-led alliance and a media, data and tech network comprised of Gale, Allegory, Attention, EnPlay, Trade X Partners, Unique Influence, Assembly and Varick.
S4 Capital’s MightyHive merged with Digodat, a Latin American data and analytics consultancy. The company says, “despite the pressures of COVID-19, S4 Capital believes that further expansion of its first-party data, digital advertising content, data and analytics and programmatic capabilities should continue.” Founded in 2015 by Alan Daitch and Mauro Giordano, Digodat provides services including digital analytics audits and implementation, site optimization, data visualization and insights, predictive modeling, data engineering and training. The consultancy employs 50 people across Argentina, Colombia, Chile and Mexico, and works with clients such as Google, Telecom Argentina, Banco Galicia, BBVA, Grupo Falabella and Intercorp.
Barkley, a Kansas City-based independent shop, was named lead brand agency for Copper Mountain Resort, following a review. Copper Mountain is a year-round mountain destination located 75 miles west of Denver. Barkley will be responsible for providing brand positioning and creative strategy. The account will be handled by the agency's Boulder, Colorado office.
VMLY&R India was appointed agency of record for Colgate-Palmolive’s digital communication business in the region, following a multi-agency pitch. The agency’s scope will include digital campaign planning, creative, social listening and “establishing Colgate-Palmolive’s leadership position in the categories of oral care and personal hygiene in India, across all digital platforms,” according to VMLY&R. The account will be led by the agency’s Mumbai office.
Guru, a bicoastal creative agency, was named an agency partner for San Clemente, California-based Sambazon, which stands for Sustainable Management of the Brazilian Amazon. Sambazon is the maker and seller of açaí-based food and beverage; manufacturing organic açaí products cause no damage to the Amazon, hence the name of the company. Sambazon was founded in 2000 by Ryan Black, Edmund Nichols and Jeremy Black following a trip to Brazil. It is unclear the exact scope of the partnership.
FCB Health Network's Neon appointed Sebastian Mallarino as group creative director. A native of Colombia, Mallarino was the first creative in the country to receive a Cannes Lions Grand Prix and two Grand Effies. He has spent the last 11 years at Grey. Under his leadership as creative VP, he led Grey Colombia to become the most awarded agency in the country in 2017. Throughout his career, Mallarino has worked with clients such as GSK, Boehringer Ingelheim, Unilever, P&G, Uber, DirecTV, Volvo, Volkswagen, Pernod Ricard and Coca-Cola.
Logical Position, a digital marketing agency, created a free hotline to share solutions with business owners struggling during the pandemic. The agency says businesses can call 1-855-BIZ-LINE for “complimentary, no obligation, business strategy consultation.” The line is open from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. PDT Monday through Friday. Logical Position also created a virtual Facebook group, called “eCommunity: Business Survival Guide,” that is open to anyone with questions or seeking advice on weathering the current crisis.