More agency churn at Old Navy and there's a new CEO at the Mouse House: Wednesday Wake-Up Call
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Mike, CBS feel the burn
As the Dems duked it out in last night’s televised debate, the most controversial moments took place away from the podium when candidate Mike Bloomberg ran a 60-second political ad during the first and second commercial breaks, causing viewers to lash into CBS and the former New York City mayor. “What kind of rule allows the candidates to advertise *during* the debate? Or did Bloomberg just buy CBS?,” tweeted New Yorker staff writer Tad Friend.
This might be a good time for a refresher on how your brand can take a stand without igniting a political powder keg. While consumers today expect brands to be socially conscious, it’s also risky. “Nobody’s trying to put out an ad that’s going to piss off half of the population unless you’re a political candidate,” Peter Daboll, CEO of Ace Metrix, tells Jessica Wohl. But it happens. This week’s Brand Playbook explores five strategies for espousing a topical cause without alienating audiences.
Ch-ch-changes are afoot in the beleaguered retail industry. Long struggling JC Penney said Tuesday that it has cycled through yet another top marketer—and in even less time than usual. Shawn Gensch, formerly of Sprouts Farmers Market, was chief customer officer in charge of marketing at the Plano, Texas-based chain for a scant nine months. Also on Tuesday, Old Navy, fresh from its called-off separation from parent Gap Inc., said it has tapped The Martin Agency as a creative agency partner. A new campaign is expected to debut this spring. Old Navy had worked with Chandelier Creative since 2013 on work that included the comedic likes of Amy Schumer, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Elizabeth Banks.
And Bob's your uncle
Bob Chapek was anointed CEO of Walt Disney Co. yesterday as Bob Iger moves to chairman of the world's largest entertainment company. "The appointment ends years of speculation over who would succeed Disney’s widely respected CEO," writes Bloomberg News. "Iger steered the company through several multibillion-dollar acquisitions, including the $71 billion takeover of Fox’s entertainment assets last year."
We'd be tempted to say "Next, he's going to Disneyland," but it's pretty safe to assume Chapek, who previously led the company’s theme parks and consumer products businesses, has been there a lot. The genesis of that victory-lap slogan can be traced to Iger himself, according to this interesting little history of the tagline on todayifoundout.com.
Leo Burnett Chicago Chief Creative Officer Jordan Doucette will be leaving the Publicis Groupe creative agency for Canada. In an internal memo obtained by Ad Age, Andrew Swinand, Leo Burnett North American CEO and chief executive of Publicis Communications Center, said that "After much discussion and a lot of soul searching on her part, Jordan Doucette has decided to return home to Canada with her family.” Doucette’s new address will be No Fixed Address, a 120-person Toronto shop that is an Ad Age Small Agency award winner.
Doucette's is the latest in a string of recent departures chilling Windy City shops. Just this week, writes Lindsay Rittenhouse, John Maxham, chief creative officer of DDB Chicago, said he is decamping for Laughlin Constable. And yesterday it came to light that Havas Chicago has laid off 2.5 percent of staff in what it calls “an internal reorganization to better integrate data, creativity and strategy.” Group Creative Directors John Nussbaum and Jon Eckman, and Group Strategy Director Adrian Fogel, were reported to be among those let go; their LinkedIn profiles say they no longer work with the agency.
Ad Age's Women to Watch Europe is looking for top-notch women in marketing and advertising to join our Class of 2020. Now in its fifth year, this list highlights the women moving the industry forward. Successful candidates are groundbreakers and rainmakers who have blazed trails within the last 12 months via new solutions, standout creative and business-building initiatives. Last year's winners included Rachel Forde, CEO of UM in the U.K., Natalie Graeme and Lucy Jameson, co-founders of Uncommon, and Aline Santos, executive VP of marketing, chief diversity and inclusion officer, Unilever. Entry forms can be found here and nominations are complimentary. So what are you waiting for?
For mature audiences: The Twitterverse lost its collective mind yesterday over the news that “The Bachelor” is casting for a version of the show featuring seniors. A notice that aired during the Feb. 24 program read “Now casting for seniors looking for love.” Applications are being accepted here, but the odds of 18-to-49-obsessed advertisers supporting a program that will see seniors through to a Neil Lane diamond are sadly slim. Paging Cindy Gallop!
No alimony necessary: Richards/Lerma, The Richards Group's agency arm dedicated to brand building in the Hispanic and multicultural marketplace, is being renamed as LERMA. “This is not a divorce between Stan and myself,” Pete Lerma says, referencing Richards Group founder Stan Richards. “We remain partners.”
Chip off the old block: Keith Block, who Marc Benioff named as co-CEO in 2018, is stepping down from his role, Salesforce said late Tuesday. Block will continue to serve as an advisor to the CEO, according to the company.
A sticky situation: J.M. Smucker is using the how-to-pronounce-GIF debate in a new campaign for Jif peanut butter. The company, writes Ilyse Liffreing, "asserts that GIF— short for graphics interchange format—is pronounced with a hard G. The tongue-in-cheek campaign goes on to assert that the soft G, as in Jif, is the exclusive domain of the peanut butter brand." The effort is timed to National Peanut Butter Lover's Day on March 1. Celebrate with a sandwich, but don't forget the gelly.
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