Ad Age Small Agency Awards winners. Plus, a protest over Facebook ad policies: Thursday Wake-Up Call
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JohnXHannes is Ad Age’s Small Agency of the Year
The list of Ad Age Small Agency Awards winners is out, and creative collective JohnXHannes came out on top. The agency punches way above its weight; how many 12-person creative shops are capable of pulling off a Super Bowl ad? The shop, founded by Executive Creative Directors John McKelvey and Hannes Ciatti, was behind expense management app Expensify’s amusing interactive Super Bowl music video starring rapper 2 Chainz and actor Adam Scott. Silver went to DCX Growth Accelerator, the agency that convinced influencers that shoes from Payless ShoeSource were actually a luxury brand called Palessi.
Read the roundup by Ad Age’s I-Hsien Sherwood, and check out the full list of honorees here. Also visit Ad Age’s Instagram for some highlights from the Ad Age Small Agency Conference & Awards at The Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans. Droga5 founder David Droga was the keynote speaker, and a local brass band paraded into the conference room.
“All orgasms are equal”: Sex tech companies protest Facebook’s ad policy
When Facebook rejects ads for sex toys aimed at women, some sex-tech companies see gender bias. TechCrunch reports Dame Products and Unbound Babes led a small protest outside Facebook’s New York office to criticize advertising policies that they believe favor sexual wellness products designed for cisgender men. One protester held up a sign reading “All orgasms are equal.” Janet Lieberman, co-founder and CTO of Dame Products, told TechCrunch that “there’s a double standard for what is seen as obscene, talking about men’s sexual health versus women’s sexual health.” Facebook says it has the lines of communication open with the companies. By the way, Facebook is not the only target here: Dame Products is suing the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority for rejecting its ads.
Dame Products and Unbound Babes set up a website, “Approved, Not Approved,” to show people which ads passed muster on Facebook and on New York public transit and which ones were banned; the results can be surprising.
Broadcast TV networks band together to fight a fledgling competitor
Locast bills itself as a way for consumers to stream broadcast TV feeds for free. The Wall Street Journal reports that now the four major TV networks—CBS, ABC, NBCUniversal and Fox—are banding together to sue Locast, arguing that it violates copyright law. Locast, a non-profit that is supported by user donations, also recently received $500,000 from AT&T. The Journal reports:
“In the lawsuit, the broadcasters argue that Locast is a pawn for AT&T and Dish, two of the largest pay TV distributors in the country. The suit says Locast’s primary reason for existence is to help them avoid paying to carry broadcast content.”
If this sounds familiar, it’s because a similar service called Aereo was shut down after a Supreme Court decision in 2014. Stay tuned.
Not happening: The Woodstock 50 concert is officially off, after the venue was moved from New York State to Maryland and many artists pulled out. It was originally scheduled Aug. 16 to 18. Ad giant Dentsu Aegis Network was at one time the financier of the beleaguered festival before walking away. Read more in Variety.
Hit pause: “Jeff Blackburn, Amazon’s SVP of business and corporate development, is taking a one-year leave in 2020,” CNBC reports. Among the Amazon businesses, Blackburn oversees is the advertising unit.
Twitter rejigger: Twitter is combining its two ad-industry-serving teams, the one that maintains relations with Madison Avenue's top firms and the one that handles relationships with the marketing technology companies. Read more by Ad Age’s Garett Sloane.
Meanwhile in adland: “Interpublic Group’s The Martin Agency, most widely recognized as Geico’s creative partner for the past 25 years, is strengthening its media offering,” Ad Age’s Lindsay Rittenhouse writes.
Podcast of the day: Partners & Napier surveyed 1,100 American adults about their eating habits, and Director of Planning CJ Gaffney has some tips about how to market healthy foods to consumers. (Spoiler: Amid a sea of buzzwords, be conversational.) Listen to his conversation with Ad Age’s Jessica Wohl, and subscribe to the Marketer’s Brief podcast here on iTunes and here on Spotify.
Sign of the times: “A YouTuber Family Is Selling a Doll Version of Their Newborn Son for $340,” BuzzFeed News reports.
Product of the day: Kellogg’s “Baby Shark” cereal, named after the unavoidable hit kids’ song, goes on sale at Sam’s Club this month. The packaging says it’s “berry fin-tastic,” whatever that means. Read more about it in the Ad Age Marketer’s Brief.
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