Agency Brief: Fires, Food Trucks, Fans and Pharmaceuticals

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Happy fall Friday! I'm in a musical mood as we head into Halloween weekend, so the (self-imposed) challenge for this week's Agency Brief was to subhead each bit of news below with relevant-ish song lyrics. (Bonus points to whoever can name each song and artist).

#LoveSpreadsFaster campaign from Phelps
#LoveSpreadsFaster campaign from Phelps Credit: Courtesy Phelps

"I get by with a little help from my friends…"
Los Angeles-based integrated marketing agency Phelps has kicked off a campaign called #LoveSpreadsFaster, aimed at supporting recovery efforts for the recent Northern California fire devastation. The initiative includes a website,, which is where people can find the fundraising pages of organizations working to help Northern California and the fire victims. "We're a group of concerned Californians. Many of us have friends who were affected by the fire," says Maria Umbsaar, producer and editor at Phelps. "We wanted to stop feeling helpless and do something to help. Because we work in marketing communications, we have the ability to mobilize and get the word out quickly, so that's what we're doing."

Shell Synergy Food Truck
Shell Synergy Food Truck Credit: Courtesy Edelman

"I've got hungry eyes…"
Shell is providing free lunches—sort of—now until the end of the year, starting in New York City. But there's a catch: You have to work (and jump) a bit for your food. The Shell Synergy Truck uses a kinetic tile walkway that converts footsteps into a payment for a free menu item. After its stint in New York this week, the truck will be off on a bi-coastal tour of U.S. colleges for the remainder of the year. The effort is part of Shell's #makethefuture campaign, which was created in partnership with JWT, Edelman, Mediacom and Picnic.

"A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down…"
Biopharmaceutical company Amgen has officially put its $450 million global media account into review after sending out a request for information last December, according to people with knowledge of the matter. Representatives from Amgen declined to comment on the review, which is being led by Ark Advisors, Ad Age has learned. WPP's MEC Global has worked with Amgen since 2003. Amgen reviews the media business every three years as part of its procurement process.

"Yeah, I'm a fan already…"
Global lifestyle marketing agency MKTG has released a study of nearly 3,000 consumers in the U.S. focused on how fans receive sponsor messaging related to sports and lifestyle properties. The biggest takeaway? Sponsors can't rely on a fan's passion around a specific team or property as a measure of his or her likelihood to embrace the sponsorship. Less than a quarter of people surveyed (23 percent) are highly receptive to sponsor messaging, with 48 percent being "on-the-fence" in their receptivity and 29 percent tuning it out completely. Basically, brand sponsors have to connect with fans on a human level beyond just slapping a logo on the side of a stadium.

"Teacher's gonna show you how to get an A…"
72andSunny has hired Traecy Smith, previously director of diversity for The One Club, as the director of 72U, the agency's 12-week creative residency. The program invites eight-to-10 participants from different backgrounds to learn about careers within the creative industry. Smith, who helped expand The One Club's Creative Bootcamps in the U.S. and internationally, will focus on bringing into the residency new talent who may not have access to creative careers.

"It takes two, baby…"
Despite chatter in the ad industry about margins getting thinner and budgets tightening, WPP CEO Martin Sorrell is No. 2 on the Harvard Business Review's 2017 list of the world's 100 best-performing CEOs. Omnicom Group leader John Wren also made the list at No. 93. The top spot went to Pablo Isla of Spanish multinational clothing company Inditex.

"My baby drove up in a brand new Cadillac…"
Publicis Groupe has hired BBDO New York veteran Adam Livesey as chief creative officer for Leo Burnett Detroit and Engage M1, the Detroit-based shop that handles Publicis Groupe's General Motors business. Livesey most recently served as BBDO's executive creative director/art director. Engage M1 handles GMC and Buick for GM. EngageM-1 was formed in 2016 when the Detroit offices of Leo Burnett and DigitasLBi were combined into a single unit to handle the GM account. The agency earlier this year successfully defended the GMC business after GM put it into review.

Tweet of the week

Number of the week
33.33 — the price of a "Rising Professional" ticket for the annual 3% Conference in New York Nov. 2-3. For the first time, the conference is offering "rising professionals" in the industry between the ages of 21 and 27 the chance to buy tickets for only $33.33—a big difference from the usual price of $1,750.

Contributing: E.J. Schultz

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