Agency Brief: Grills, gloss and a g'day for one agency

By Published on .

Char-Broil - Now You're Cookin'
Char-Broil - Now You're Cookin' Credit: Char-Broil

If you're reading this, I have yet to succumb to the avalanche of gotta-get-this-out-the-door-before-2019 pitches or the sheer amount of sugar cookies that have landed on my desk this week. Not sure which one will end me first.

Giddy up for a very newsy Agency Brief this week, and don't forget Tuesday is the deadline for our A-List Awards is on Tuesday, Dec. 18 at 5 p.m. EST (Creativity Awards have a bit longer, until Jan. 8).

See you next week for the last Brief of the year. Can you believe it?


It may not be grilling weather, but this news comes with char marks: Winston-Salem, N.C.-based shop The Variable has become PR and social agency of record for Char-Broil — the privately held maker of grills and accessories for which it already handles media and creative duties. The agency will work with the brand on work that positions it as a maker of "forgiving" grills. Perfect for those agency reporters whose hot dogs are on the "eviscerated" side of charred. The Variable will also work with Char-Broil's sibling brands Oklahoma Joe's and Saber on social and PR.

G'day for this agency

Tourism Australia this week announced it had awarded its global advertising account to M&C Saatchi Worldwide. The global pitch was focused on China, U.K. and the U.S. The U.S. pitch was led by SS&K, M&C Saatchi's New York flagship agency. The organization has worked with Clemenger BBDO and Droga5 New York, which worked with the brand on its Dundee campaign it launched at the Super Bowl.

They showed their true colors

Paint brand Benjamin Moore is redesigning itself with a new roster of creative and media agencies. The company appointed Fig, the newly named Figliulo & Partners, as creative AOR, and Horizon Media as its media agency of record. Joanne Davis Consulting handled the review process.

V-Went with Deutsch

V-Go, a wearable insulin delivery device from Valeritas Holdings, has picked Deutsch as its new agency for creative, media and data analytics for direct-to-consumer efforts. The IPG agency plans a campaign in the U.S. in the first half of 2019 for the V-Go, which can be worn like a patch by people who have diabetes.

Johnnie Walker steps out

Johnnie Walker is in review. "We can confirm we have invited advertising agencies to pitch for the Johnnie Walker account as we continue to evolve this iconic global brand," said a spokesman. "We value the work all our partners bring to our campaigns and we have invited the incumbents to pitch." The brand is handled by Anomaly in the U.S. and 72andSunny globally.

Genuine Jack

Jack Morton this week announced the launch of an innovation practice called Genuine X. The practice will be led by Damian Ferrar, who has been an executive creative director for the IPG shop in London since 2017. The agency has partnered with emotion analysis service EMRAYS to explore emotional impact live brand experiences by predicting human reactions to different concepts through artificial intelligence simulation.

A new Baker Street

San Francisco-based Baker Street Advertising has restructured its operations to put its data analytics, behavioral economics and business measurement chops alongside its advertising and content practices — with the agency's founders Don Donovan (CEO) and Jack Boland serving as co-chairmen of the restructured agency. The agency has also brought on Sean Hardwick as president. The shop credits the new structure with its win of Tahoe Blue Vodka.

Say what you want

The First Amendment Museum in Augusta, Maine, has tapped IPNY as agency of record to help it launch its first national campaign. The organization, co-founded by the granddaughters of publisher Guy Gannett, positions itself as not just a museum but a national initiative encouraging Americans to increase their civic engagement.

On the move…

Tim Castree, global CEO of GroupM's Wavemaker, has been named North America CEO of GroupM, overseeing the company whose agencies include Mindshare, MediaCom, Wavemaker, Essence, m/Six and Xaxis. Castree will report to GroupM Global CEO Kelly Clark. Castree fills a role vacated by Brian Lesser, who left in August 2017 to head up AT&T's ad business, Xandr.

James Sowden has joined TBWA/Chiat/Day New York as its chief strategy officer. Sowden replaces former chief strategic innovations officer Aki Spicer, who departed in October. Sowden joins TBWA from BBH Asia Pacific in Singapore, where he was managing partner and head of strategy.

Publicis Groupe-owned design firm Turner Duckworth has a new global CEO, Joanne Chan, and global chief creative officer, Sarah Moffat. Both leaders have spent more than two decades at the agency.

Aaron Sedlak has joined Anchor Worldwide as chief creative officer. He was previously working on pitch consulting projects, and before that was a group creative director at 360i.

Contributing: Adrianne Pasquarelli

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