Tag Archives: WPP

Will Publicis and Omnicom tie the knot Before Midnight?

before midnightIt’s been quite the month for American/French relations. Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke have been reunited in Richard Linklater’s third instalment of the Before Sunset series (pictured), and Omnicom and Publicis have confirmed a merger which will create the large advertising, communications and marketing services agency in the world.

The new company, imaginatively named Publicis Omnicom Group (no ‘e’) will have a combined market cap of over $30bn, generating total revenues of over $23bn. It is to be led by industry heavyweights Maurice Levy and John Wren, who have notched up a total of 42 years as CEOs of Publicis and Omnicom respectively.

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Tesco and Coca Cola join Facebook’s first UK marketing advisory board

Facebook announces formation of the UK Advisory BoardCoca-Cola, Tesco and EE are among the brands who have been invited to join Facebook’s first UK marketing Advisory Board in what is being seen as a move to boost its reputation among marketers and agencies and to drive advertising spend.

The UK Advisory Board will meet approximately four times a year to discuss product development, campaign measurement and insights, and marketing best practices.

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Agencies shoot down Sorrell’s take on Twitter

Agencies shoot down Martin Sorrell's take on Twitter The belief of WPP’s chief executive Martin Sorrell that Twitter is more a PR medium for brands, rather than an advertising opportunity, has been widely shot down by rival agencies and social media practitioners.

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The unstoppable resignation letter sent viral by Twitter leaving reputations in tatters #Shicklegate

Steve Hatch, MEC chief executive - taking Shicklegate accusations seriouslyThe story swept through the office yesterday as it did through London’s medialand and went viral on Twitter.

It was Twitter gold dust. A resignation email from Kieran Allen, a senior manager at media planning and buying agency MEC, part of the WPP Group, which detailed a series of highly damaging allegations about his manager.

First the email was forwarded around rival agencies sparking thousands of tweets and then it was uploaded onto drop box and was shared on Twitter under the hashtag #Shicklegate, which quickly started trending. Read More »

WPP shows no sign of Facebook concern as it signs deal with Buddy Media

Facebook buildingWhile doubts circle about advertising on Facebook WPP Group has pushed ahead with a deal with social software firm Buddy Media and chosen it as its preferred social ad management partner for handling Facebook advertising across its various media agencies.

The news comes on the heels of General Motors and others last week raising doubts about the value of advertising on Facebook. Read More »

Social media on the increase at FTSE 100 firms, but most remain wary

wA report into the activity of  FTSE 100 businesses and social media highlights how far many big blue chip businesses still have to go.

While social media is definitely on the increase many companies remain wary. Read More »

In defence of “blood-sucking social media gurus”

If there is one thing worse than so called “blood-sucking social media gurus” it’s ranting journalists. A perfect example of which is on display at the Telegraph today.

Milo Yiannopoulos argues that “social media consultants are an inexcusable waste of money”. Maybe. Maybe not, but what is really inexcusable is if you are going to say such things give us some examples of the work these people who are apparently beyond parody. Read More »

WPP invests in social media, but should it be outsourced?

As having a social media policy becomes as ubiquitous as having a marketing strategy, brands are going to start asking whether it’s best to manage these things in house or if it is better to outsource.

Buddy Media: popular on Facebook

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Stop selling meetings and buying time. Start selling ideas and buy credibility

When Morrissey sang “some girls are bigger than others” was he singing about their size or their generosity?


Talking of size, there’s been a lot of talk about the death of the network agency recently. Amusing though Sir Martin Sorrell’s denouncement of his own agencies’ leadership at AdTech was (for the record – he reminded us that too many of his agency top management knew too little about digital) it can only be part of the picture. Digital isn’t the only thing many of them don’t get. Now I’ve always talked about the creative product, and how to encourage a better version of getting it. This is a common principle that unites many across the industry. Sadly there aren’t many large agencies that think it that important in practice, and would rather run and hide than get an honest debate about agency added value out on the table.


I’ve been lucky enough to have created a very successful digital agency, run a very large network agency, and now operate as a consultant to both clients and agencies in how to improve the way in which they go to market and how to get the best out of each other. I’ve also spent time over the last year reviewing a wide range of creative product for an award or two. Oh and have an experimental creative business model on the go as well. My evidence is broad and deep. And we shall see in the published results of quite a few agencies in the coming months just how poor performance has got.


It’s all too easy to lay into the paranoid nature of agency leadership and the too often disconnected nature of network agencies in particular as they are forced to sign up to targets they can’t reach and client commitments they can’t meet. Many of them are good people caught in a trap. Right now, clients are holding back budgets left right and centre and finding it harder to take risks. The business model encourages internecine warfare, which is, apart from anything else, a shame and waste of energy for sometimes very clever and talented people, and clients’ money. There are of course notable exceptions to this, and I tip my hat to all of them.


I don’t think the agency is dead, by the way. But I do think it has become stale, and forgotten that, as Alan Moore puts it, “the best way to predict the future is to invent it.” Wouldn’t it be rather more fun if we all spent more time thinking about that? How to inspire others. How to create. How to imagine. How to invent. How to argue for quality, and how to improve. And did it. That’s what I’d like for Christmas. I’d like to be reminded that there others in the industry that want it to get better, by being a better, cleverer, more agile industry.


And by thinking of ideas, not excuses.

Out with the old, in with the new

On the day (most of) Britain celebrates parliament ‘not’ being blown up by Elizabethan (or more accurately Jamesian) political grievance, we should reflect for a moment on the ballyhoo the new president promises for change. There’ll be lots of stuff on the news today about that. Change is good. Promises are motivating. But actually driving change is another matter. It’s an age old historical argument – is it the people, or is it the circumstances? Cometh the hour, cometh the man is the ironic Shakespearean statement that springs to mind. Given the economic meltdown going on, it’s fair to say that there are forces outside the control of the people setting budget demands and controls all over the world right now. The new RBS Chief Executive has declined to offer forecasts, other than to predict the bank’s first ever losses. WPP is surprisingly bullish in its forecasts for 2009. What impact will the new President have? Obama is definitely not George Bush. We know that much. Will he withdraw from Iraq? Will he impose import restrictions on Chinese manufactured goods? Will he imprison those who can be identified as responsible for knowingly selling toxic assets? One thing for sure, we will see it on youtube. We will post opinion about it on our blogs. We will consume and exchange information about it more than any other generation has before. That’s the impact technology has had on the political landscape. And I predict a future for people that understand that.