Agency Brief: Where Is Everybody?

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Is there anyone out there reading this? It's hard to tell, because the agency world is pretty much closed for business. Apparently you're all still sleeping off your Cannes hangovers and prepping for the Fourth of July, when Americans celebrate their country's independence with top 100 countdowns and $1,776 discounts on Toyotas. No one even seems to be busy churning out those stirring local "Be a patriot, buy a dining room set!" spots.

Those of you who are working seem to be solely focused on sending out press releases telling us that you won a Grand Prix at Cannes or a Gold, or many of them. Quit it. We know.

We ourselves are very busy, getting ready for our Small Agency Conference in Awards in Nashville July 18-19 -- buy your tickets here-- but in the meantime we managed to dig up a few news nuggets for this Agency Brief.

Good news for WPP after bad week: The holding company's MediaCom unit has won Peugeot Citröen's $1 billion global media account after a final round of pitches against Publicis Groupe's Zenith. The PSA Group win will go some way towards replacing the Volkswagen Group account – including Volkswagen, Audi, Porsche, Seat, and Skoda -- that MediaCom lost to Omnicom's PHD last year after a lengthy review. A spokesman for the French automaker confirmed the win and said that PSA will start working with MediaCom in 2018. The car giant's media assignments were previously divided among Omnicom and Havas agencies.

Not a good week to be on the WPP HelpDesk: One agency team not taking time off is WPP's IT department, which is still toiling to recover from the ransomware cyberattack on Tuesday that caused many within the network to shut down their computers. Chief Information Office Trevor Attridge said in a message to employees that the company had made progress but that the attack was "still causing major issues." He warned that getting anti-virus updates on workstations would "take a fair amount of time to resolve as we are seeing large numbers of reported incidences" and reiterated CEO Martin Sorrell's earlier statement that client data didn't appear to have been compromised. "As a reminder, this is not going to be a quick fix and will take time," Attridge wrote.

Spawn Ideas has picked up the Alaska tourism business.
Spawn Ideas has picked up the Alaska tourism business. Credit: sarkophoto/iStock

49th State update: Anchorage-based Spawn Ideas (we're not making that name up) has won the Alaska Tourism Industry Association account including strategy, media buying and planning. The business had previously been held by Brilliant Media Strategies for 30 years.

What we're watching: We hear the Association of National Advertisers is getting ready to release its report on ad agency production practices. Last year, the Department of Justice began an investigation into whether ad agencies had been fixing bids by encouraging production houses to increase prices so their contracts would be awarded to agencies' in-house teams. Stay tuned for more on the report.

Pee in the park: Rodgers Townsend in St. Louis wanted to prove the efficacy of client Nature's Miracle Stain & Odor Remover, so it blanketed a Los Angeles dog park in snowy white carpet and let the dogs out. "After rolling out almost 3,000 square feet of carpet, our biggest fear was the dogs wouldn't do what dogs do. Lucky for us, once nature called, she kept calling," said Michael McCormick, chief creative officer. You can see the video of how well the carpet cleaned up below, but be prepared for some random acts of pooping.

Tweet of the week: Publicis CEO Maurice Sadoun took to Twitter this week to answer questions about the holding company's decision to sit out Cannes next year in order to fund its internal AI system Marcel. Among those who engaged him was a sardonic faux account @ask_marcel and Sadoun showed that, even under fire, he had a sense of humor.

Numbers of the week:

Credit: bhofack2/iStock

150 million - hot dogs consumed on July 4, per the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council

36 - Average number of YouTube videos viewed by ad agency employees working on Fridays over the summer. OK we made that up. But we are going to leave you with one: a video of an owl riding a toy horse. Because we can.

-- Contributing: Emma Hall

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