BBDO agency deploys Facebook chatbot to fight disinformation amid coronavirus outbreak
In the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, it’s of utmost importance for people to look to the facts, what’s being reported about the disease, formally known as COVID-19, by health officials and take precautions based on the information at hand. It might also be wise to avoid social media, a hotbed for disinformation, altogether.
To stop the spread of disinformation during this critical time, BBDO Guerrero has partnered with the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines and the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility to develop a Facebook chatbot that sniffs out fake news in the Philippines specifically. The effort (#stopthespread) follows research from the groups that found a staggering 98 percent of people in the Philippines use Facebook as their main source of information. Now, people can send any suspicious links to the chatbot through messenger and it will verify them based on factors such as bylines, photo credits and publishing dates. The chatbot was crafted in the image of a fly, and is comprised of thousands of disinformation headlines. BBDO Guerrero likens disinformation to a pesky fly because it "appears everywhere" and "infects" our feeds.
“We hope this tool will prove to be useful in preventing the spread of misinformation,” says BBDO Guerrero Creative Chairman David Guerrero. “This is just the beginning of a bigger battle and we cannot wait for everyone to join in.”
Reminder: Keep track of the status of industry events
To stay up to date on all the industry event cancelations and postponements, check out Ad Age’s tracker as it provides real-time information on which conferences have been nixed or altered, as well as which are set to go on as planned. SXSW, for example, is keeping calm and carrying on, y’all, even as musicians like Ozzy Osbourne and Trent Reznor join the growing number of brands and participants pulling out of the festival slated for March 13 - March 22.
A penny for your stereotypes
In honor of International Women’s Day, BMO raises awareness to the pervasive gendered stereotypes that break women’s financial confidence in a poignant spot from FCB Canada. In the ad, “Jane’s Story,” the viewer follows one young girl who grows up with terms like “gold digger” and “trophy wife” shoved in her face. She is also given the impression that her main goal in life is to get married; that wives cannot be the breadwinners and must ask permission to use their husband’s money; that women are inherently bad at saving; that when a restaurant check comes, it should go to the man. The examples of instances where women experience biases related to their ability to manage their own finances go on and on. The campaign points out that this has caused only 31 percent of women to believe they are “financially knowledgeable.”
“Despite the strides that have been made in gender equality overall, data continues to show that women feel less confidence in their financial futures, and we are all a part of changing that conversation,” says Catherine Roche, BMO Financial Group chief marketing officer and head of social impact.
A brief word
Laugh Out Loud, the comedy brand and entertainment company founded by comedian Kevin Hart, is partnering with Advertising Week to instill more diverse comedic voices, and some laughter, into the AW brand. The multi-year partnership will include efforts to expand LOL’s Comedy in Color global standup and content program beyond North America; launch a b-to-b podcast on comedy and culture; create a LOL-branded content studio; and get LOL talent on stage at AW, including Hart himself, who is set to keynote the company’s flagship New York 2020 event. Steve Harvey will also join Jeff Clanagan, president of LOL, on the main stage in Johannesburg for AW Africa.
The 10-year-old agency behind Ad Age’s 2017 redesign, OCD | The Original Champions of Design, underwent its own rebrand. Now simply Champions Design, the agency has emerged with a new logo and website to coincide with its new moniker. The work was done in partnership with A Hundred Monkeys and Type/Code along with in-house staff Jennifer Kinon; Bobby C. Martin, Jr.; Michael McCaughley; Carina Sandoval; Taylor Hale; and Haley Kattner Allen. Check it out.
The wins of the week
McCormick sent its North American media planning and buying business to Dentsu Aegis Network’s 360i following a review. UM previously handled media duties for the maker of spices, seasonings, condiments and other flavorful products. The scope of the relationship spans all of McCormick’s brands including French’s, Frank’s, Club House, Zatarain’s and Old Bay. Grey New York continues to lead creative.
UM, part of IPG Mediabrands, won U.S. agency-of-record duties for Shinola, the Detroit-based luxury goods retailer. UM will take on all domestic strategy, planning, buying, research, data and analytics responsibilities under the partnership. Shinola had named IPG sibling shop Mediahub as its agency of record in 2014, at which time it was working with creative shop Partners & Spade (the defunct agency co-founded by creative vets Anthony Sperduti and Andy Spade, husband of the late Kate Spade and brother of actor/comedian David Spade). More recently, independent agency Preacher crafted campaigns for Shinola including a Fourth of July spot in 2018 that shared the stories of new immigrants to America. Mediahub stopped working with Shinola a few years ago and the appointment of UM came without a review.
VMLY&R was named advertising and digital transformation agency of record for YMCA of the USA following a review. The agency will lead the development of an integrated brand campaign across TV, digital and social media for the nonprofit. VMLY&R will also handle digital transformation efforts to enhance customer experience across YMCA platforms and modernize its digital footprint in 2020. The YMCA, known as The Y, is present in 10,000 communities in the U.S. and serves nearly 22 million young people.
Independent Chicago agency The Distillery Project won the account of Fresh Thyme Farmers Market, a Midwestern grocer composed of 72 stores in 11 states, following a pitch. Incumbent AOR is Schafer Condon Carter. The Distillery Project’s first task is to create a broad-based brand campaign slated to debut in May. The campaign will span TV, out-of-home, radio, digital display and social media. Fresh Thyme Farmers Market is an affordable organic grocer that offers natural foods as well as those catered to vegan, paleo, keto, vegetarian and wheat- and gluten-free diets.
Sid Lee won the global agency-of-record title for workwear brand Dickies. The agency was chosen as Dickies’ creative partner to help develop a consistent global experience for the brand to better engage with consumers. On the heels of that win, Sid Lee hired Melissa Palazzo-Hart as chief operations officer and Nirm Shanbhag as chief strategy officer. Palazzo-Hart most recently was the managing director of Eclipse Advertising and Shanbhag joins from Notch, a boutique strategy consultancy he founded six years ago.
More hires, moves and promotions
VMLY&R hired Noel Cottrell as chief creative officer of its flagship Kansas City office, which is a new position. A key focus of his will be on the Wendy’s account. Cottrell was the chief creative officer of newly independent agency Fitzco in Atlanta (its founder and chairman, Dave Fitzgerald, bought the shop back from IPG this year). At Fitzco, Cottrell worked with clients like Coca-Cola, Sony, Navy Federal Credit Union, French’s Mustard, Harry’s and Checkers for nearly a decade. He also helped create E*TRADE’s “Talking Babies” and P&G’s Febreze “Breathe Happy” blindfold campaign as an executive creative director for Grey New York.
Portland, Oregon-based independent creative shop North shuffled its leadership. While Co-Founders Rebecca Armstrong and Chief Creative Officer Mark Ray will continue leading the agency together, Armstrong has become the agency’s first CEO. Ray will focus on expanding North’s branded and entertainment content capabilities. Armstrong is replaced in her previous role of managing director by Jordan Delapoer, who has been serving as North's brand strategy director since 2011.
IPG Mediabrands’ Reprise hired Fred Schuster as global chief operations officer. Schuster was the CEO of Madras, a global brand commerce agency. He also founded Fred&Co., a global creative operations company. His appointment marks his return to IPG, as he also previously served as the chief executive of Craft Worldwide, the content and execution business of McCann Worldgroup.
VaynerMedia London hired Becky McOwen-Banks as executive creative director. She was a creative director for FCB Inferno, where she worked for five years across UEFA Women, BMW, Nivea, NS&I and The Girl Effect. McOwen-Banks will assume the role on Monday and report to VaynerMedia London Managing Director Sarah Baumann.
Ogilvy New York bolstered its office’s leadership in creative and technology by hiring WeiWei Dong and Isaac Silverglate as global executive creative directors on its Instagram account. Dong most recently was executive creative director of Dentsu’s 360i and Silvergate was group executive creative director at R/GA. Della Matthew was promoted to executive creative director from group creative director and will continue to lead the agency’s IKEA account. Brian Riedlinger was named head of technology after serving as director of operations and digital transformation for Ogilvy Singapore.
TBWA\Chiat\Day New York made five key hires: Mary Lou Bunn joins from Big Spaceship as executive director of growth; Dave Banta was poached from McCann New York to become executive creative director of the Nissan United account; Hannah Lentz, most recently a VP of talent at Elephant, was named executive director of talent relations; Deepa Patel joins from Ogilvy as executive director of the agency’s Disruption Labs; and Leslie Stone, also hailing from Ogilvy, became chief strategy officer for Nissan United.
Starch Creative hired Israel Kandarian as executive creative director. Starch Creative is an experience design agency based in Portland, Oregon and Costa Mesa, California. Kandarian will remain based in California and hails from Deeplocal. He also spent time at Denton-Cardew Design, SET Creative and Nike as a creative director. Kandarian is credited with leading the store design of North Face’s flagship Fifth Avenue shop in New York and helping build the Google Hardware Store, a four-month pop-up experience for consumers to try out new Google devices.