Friday, July 21, 2017

13758: McCann Is A Loser.

Advertising Age reported McCann Worldgroup is officially protesting to the Government Accountability Office after being cut from the review to retain the guesstimated $4-billion-over-a-decade U.S. Army account, which the White advertising agency has serviced since 2005. According to Ad Age, a memo from McCann Worldgroup Chairman-CEO Harris Diamond whined, “We have recently been notified by the government contracting officer, who is managing the mandated Army review, that we were disqualified due to technical issues related to our proposal. Therefore, we were not invited to the oral presentations.” The memo also stated that McCann was whacked before the proposal reached “our clients [the Army] who have been quoted in support of our work and relationship… [and] are not being given the opportunity to read or review our proposal. We believe the contracting officer’s decision is wrong and we are protesting.” Gee, imagine if every minority advertising agency “disqualified” from a pitch for “technicalities” lodged a formal protest. It would require an army of lawyers just to read the gripes. For McCann Worldgroup to complain about losing a government account that it has held for over a decade inspires delivering a truth well told: All is fair in love and war.

McCann Worldgroup Files Protest Against U.S. Army

By Lindsay Stein

Charging that its elimination from an agency review for the U.S. Army’s business was “an arbitrary and capricious decision,” McCann Worldgroup has filed a formal Government Accountability Office pre-award bid protest against the Army.

In January, the U.S. Army released a request for proposals for its advertising and marketing business. An Army representative said at the time that the mandated review “estimates the contract ceiling to not exceed $4 billion” over a period up to a decade.

McCann Worldgroup, which includes Weber Shandwick and UM, has held the business since 2005 and reaps an estimated $30 to $40 million in annual revenue from the account. The Army last extended its contract with McCann Worldgroup in November 2015 for another 18 months.

But now McCann has been cut from the new review.

“We have recently been notified by the government contracting officer, who is managing the mandated Army review, that we were disqualified due to technical issues related to our proposal,” McCann Worldgroup Chairman-CEO Harris Diamond said in an email to employees that was obtained by Ad Age. “Therefore, we were not invited to the oral presentations.”

The agency, the email said, was disqualified before its proposal reached “our clients [the Army] who have been quoted in support of our work and relationship, are not being given the opportunity to read or review our proposal. We believe the contracting officer’s decision is wrong and we are protesting.”

Some of the reasons cited in the bid protest, filed in June, include the contracting officer’s “failure to read McCann-Erickson’s entire proposal” and “incorrect and inexplicable assertion that McCann-Erickson is not registered in the System for Award Management (SAM),” or the system used by the government in hiring contractors, even though it has been a longtime agency for the U.S. Army.

According to the document, McCann alleges that the Army’s contracting officer made a “superficial review” of its proposal and “inexcusably failed to correctly check the SAM database.” McCann refers to the SAM issue in the protest document as “one of the most egregious errors in the review.”

The Army also allegedly disqualified McCann, according to people with knowledge of the matter, for several technical errors, such as using a PDF rather than an Excel sheet in the proposal.

Representatives from the U.S. Army did not return calls for comment by press time.

The holding company protest follows McCann’s agency-level protest in May, which was denied. If the GAO bid protest is also denied, the agency can take the matter to the Court of Federal Claims. One McCann executive said the agency intends to take the matter to court if the protest doesn’t produce results.

“We think we’re right on the merits,” the executive told Ad Age, “but equally important, we think we’ve done really great work for the U.S. Army. We’ve met everything and have been honored by them for performance over the years, so we hope to get through this process.”

In a GAO protest, a government agency – the Army in this case – cannot award the business until the protest is ruled on, which must occur within 100 days. The start date for the new contract is March 30, 2018.

“There is simply no logical reason to rush to exclude strong proposals given the time available to select the best offeror,” the protest document says.

The document also notes that there is “already an extremely small pool of competitors” in the review. McCann writes in the document that it deduces that there were only two or three agencies in the competition, “an extremely small number for any procurement, let alone of this importance, size and complexity.”

McCann was told about being eliminated from the process via email rather than on the phone or in a meeting, according to people familiar with the situation.

“We are disappointed in the Contracting Officer’s decision,” said a McCann spokesman in a statement. “We are enormously proud of the work we have done with our client partners over the past 11-plus years and hope we will have the opportunity to continue to help the U.S. Army in meeting its important recruiting mission and goals.”

Last month when McCann Worldgroup was named the No. 2 Most Effective Regional Network at the 2017 North American Effie Awards, Mark Davis, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Marketing publicly praised McCann. “When two great teams, like the Army and McCann, partner together you can accomplish amazing things and make a difference,” he said then in a statement. “It is our honor to share with McCann Worldgroup this prestigious acknowledgement of the effectiveness of our efforts by the Effie Awards.”

Thursday, July 20, 2017

13757: The ASA is ASS.

The BBC reported the Advertising Standards Authority is drafting new rules to fight advertisements that display stereotypical gender roles in the UK. It’s another example of diverted diversity—aka the White women’s bandwagon—running over racial and ethnic diversity. After all, the ASA should know that minorities are underrepresented in advertising campaigns, yet the organization is not drafting any rules to address the inequality—or spanking the White advertising agencies that extend the discrimination with biased hiring practices.

13756: Prehistoric Thought Leadership.

Campaign published pathetic, prehistoric pap from FCB Global Chief Creative Officer Susan Credle, who whined, “If advertising is going into the content business, who will take care of the brands?” Um, no one associated with FCB sounds like a good answer. Why do old-school advertising executives pontificate on the sacred power of brands while jumping from one generic White advertising agency to the next? Hell, FCB just recently rebranded itself—and you’d be hard-pressed to distinguish the FCB Credle from the Leo Burnett or BBDO versions. Can’t help but think Credle is a dinosaur, desperately struggling to survive in the Land of Digital. It’s not the first time the woman has displayed cluelessness about technology beyond traditional advertising—which she prefers to typeset with a capital A. Like many dinosaurs inhabiting the advertising industry, sadly, Credle is as clueless about digital as she is about diversity, although she’s a Jenny-come-lately on the White women’s bandwagon. Wringing one’s hands over a future that’s already been in place for at least a decade is asinine with a capital A. The question should read, “If advertising is going into the content business, who will take care of the brontosauruses like Credle?”

If advertising is going into the content business, who will take care of the brands?

By Susan Credle

Advertising with a capital A is about creating opportunities that lead to a healthier economy. Sometimes, it’s an ad. Sometimes, it’s a new product.

Last year in Cannes, I gave a talk titled, “Confession: I Love Advertising.” The speaker following me started his speech with the title, “How to Stop Advertising and Save Our Industry.”

Over the past decade, the advertising industry has somehow managed to demonize the very word that defines what we make.

But is the industry really changing, or are we just changing the words? Branded content. Isn’t that what advertising is—a piece of content that features a brand?

Recently, I read an article that declared, it’s time to take the brand out of branded content. So if we are all going into the content business, who is going to take care of the brands?

Two years ago when discussing branded content on a jury, one person said, “I’ve got it! If we like the work, it’s branded content. If it sucks, it’s advertising.” This person was not in the business of advertising. He was a novelist.

And a month ago, I was in New Orleans at the Collision Conference. A colleague of mine, Winston Binch, said, and I paraphrase, “Susan, it’s fascinating. When I tell people I’m in advertising, they aren’t interested. They don’t think they are ready for an advertising agency, too expensive. But, if I tell them I’m in branding and marketing, they ask for my card.”

I’ve always been proud to be in Advertising with a capital A. When I was growing up, I loved ads. And in turn, I loved brands. In my first job at BBDO, I learned we could make things more famous, more beloved than the content we paid to sit alongside.

We were the masters of short-form communication. And, yet, in a world that is asking for things to be shorter—six seconds, 140 characters, an emoji—we seem to be going in the opposite direction. Our films are getting longer. Instead of a crafted one-second image that we used to call print, we want to create blogs and interactive posts. Anything that doesn’t look like an ad.

Long before we coined the phrase “branded content,” Howard Luck Gossage said, “People read what interests them. Sometimes it’s an ad.”

In the general sense of the word, I never thought advertising meant traditional ads. Yes, it includes those powerful media. But for me, advertising was anything that was done in service of a product or business. And the result of great advertising was an emotionally strong brand and a financially strong business.

So perhaps it’s better to separate the business of advertising and ads. Ads are a part of what we do in advertising. But Advertising with a capital A is about solving problems and creating opportunities that lead to a healthier economy.

Sometimes, it’s an ad. Sometimes, it’s a new product. Sometimes, it’s intellectual property. Sometimes, it’s a partnership. Sometimes, it’s an event. Some time in the future, it will be something else.

But every time, when it’s on strategy and in service to a client’s business, it’s Advertising.

If you believe that, too, let’s focus on our real problem, which is not that we work in advertising. It’s that we’ve allowed the word to be co-opted and connected to the intrusive, the disrespectful and the disinteresting.

Let’s take back advertising and define it for what it really is—one of the best economic-drivers, problem-solvers, dream-makers in the world.

Susan Credle is the global chief creative officer at FCB Global.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

13755: Omnicom “Wins” MillerCoors Work.

Adweek reported MillerCoors pulled a PepsiCo play, shifting beer business from one bunch of Omnicom-owned White advertising agencies to another. What’s more, the client revealed creatives from the former AORs will move to a special team in the new AORs. Welcome to Miller Time—and Corporate Cultural Collusion. Whassup?

MillerCoors Consolidates Global Creative Duties on the Miller Brand Within Omnicom’s DDB Network

Adam&EveDDB wins Miller Genuine Draft and DDB Chicago lands Miller Lite

By Patrick Coffee

Beverage giant MillerCoors has shuffled the creative agency roster for its Miller brand for the fifth time in less than six years, assigning global duties on Miller Lite and Miller Genuine Draft to DDB Chicago and London-based Adam&EveDDB, respectively.

The change occurred after a formal review.

Chief marketing officer David Kroll, who recently returned from medical leave, confirmed the decision in an internal memo sent to MillerCoors’ agency partners this morning.

“Starting this week, we are consolidating the Miller Lite creative responsibilities at DDB Chicago. This transition will be seamless as we are keeping the business within the Omnicom family,” Kroll wrote after noting that the brand recently celebrated 10 consecutive quarters of share growth.

As mentioned, this announcement keeps the business within the Omnicom family while ending Miller’s relationships with now-former creative agency of record 180LA and Juniper Park, a Toronto-based shop that is part of the TBWA network.

The news also follows this spring’s decision to shift the digital portion of the Miller Lite account from DigitasLBi Chicago to DDB, again without a review. Moving forward, Miller Coors will consolidate some of the cross-agency talent working on that account in North America.

“We are moving some of the best creative talent from our previous agencies 180LA and Juniper Park, into a new team at DDB in order to have a best-in-class creative and planning team,” Kroll’s note continued. “DDB has made great strides on the digital side of the Miller Lite business over the last month, and we feel confident that this expanded team will keep the brand on its positive trajectory.”

Last April, MillerCoors moved responsibility for Miller Lite from TBWA\Chiat\Day Los Angeles to sister shop 180LA weeks after reports indicated that the company had been talking to various agencies and “looking for ideas” on the brand. In that case, there did not appear to be a formal review.

A MillerCoors spokesperson referred back to Kroll’s memo. Representatives for DDB and 180LA declined to comment on the news.

According to the latest numbers from Kantar Media, MillerCoors spent approximately $130 million on measured media promoting the Miller Lite brand in the U.S. last year and $27 million in the first quarter of 2017.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

13754: Dear Madison Avenue, You Suck.

A MultiCultClassics visitor left a comment that warrants its own post. Medium.com published “Dear John: A break-up letter to advertising”—and the following excerpt is classic:

YOU CAN’T STOP LOOKING IN THE MIRROR

You use words like modern and diversity.

How open minded you are and how you get culture.

Really? I don’t think you give a shit.

You’re about as cultural and inclusive as the KKK.

You don’t represent the world you want to influence — because you have no respect for that world.

You just want to be with people who look like you.

You’re in love with your own image.

But there’s a whole world out there and until you see it, you’re not worth my time.

Monday, July 17, 2017

13753: Arthur Sadoun Is Sad.

Advertising Age reported on recent remarks from Publicis Groupe Chairman and CEO Arthur Sadoun, who sought to explain his one-year ban on award shows and trade shows to help fund a digital doodad for the global White holding company. According to Sadoun, Marcel will connect employees across the network—especially the younger generation. “[Millennials] are the ones who will find the kind of ideas we are looking for. They are not behaving in the same way we are,” claimed Sadoun. “They want to be recognized quite quickly, they want to be engaged, they want to touch things in a different way. This is why we are building a platform.” Nice. Barely six months into his new leadership role and Sadoun exposes himself as an exclusionist. That is, the company is spending a significant amount of money and resources to satisfy the needs of youthful staffers. This will undoubtedly piss off all the Old White Guys who are now being denied annual jaunts to Cannes and other exotic locales. It also underscores how Sadoun will make major investments for a single segment of privileged underlings while ignoring racial and ethnic minorities. Need proof? Compare the costs for Marcel to the “diversity budgets” at Publicis Groupe. Would Sadoun ever consider a second ban to fund inclusive initiatives? Hey, he could create a platform called Martin.

Publicis CEO Sadoun: ‘I Am What I Am Because of Creativity’

By Emma Hall

Publicis Groupe’s chairman and CEO Arthur Sadoun defended his controversial Marcel project — which entails pulling out of all awards shows for a year to help fund a group-wide AI system — as a draw for both talent and clients.

Speaking at the Incorporated Society of British Advertisers’ annual lunch, Sadoun told a room full of marketers that Marcel would make a big difference to the younger generation.

“They are the ones who will find the kind of ideas we are looking for. They are not behaving in the same way we are,” he said. “They want to be recognized quite quickly, they want to be engaged, they want to touch things in a different way. This is why we are building a platform.”

Marcel will be able to link up not just people qualified to handle a brief, but to find “the ones who are eager to do it.” A young creative in Sao Paulo, he said, would have the opportunity to work on a Super Bowl ad led out of New York.

Marcel is already having a positive impact on business, Sadoun claimed. He told the story of a big client with whom the relationship was “difficult.” The marketer had been planning to fire Publicis, but said to Sadoun, “I see what you did in Cannes and I get the impression you are making progress and I’m going to give you six months.”

In a rejection of the status quo, Sadoun said, “I don’t care how long I stay. We are committed to changing things. Whether we will succeed I don’t know. We believe we have a responsibility to our industry. It’s incredible to see we are operating exactly the same way we were 20 years ago. We look at Omnicom, at WPP. We are not putting technology at the core of our own model. We are the only service industry that has not tried.”

The packed room at London’s Dorchester hotel burst into applause when Sadoun added, “We are trying to show something to the industry. If the others say we are not coming to Cannes because we don’t stand for creativity, I will take it. I don’t care… I’m not going to CES either, so I guess I don’t like technology.”

Still Sadoun was met with some cautious optimism at best.

“I enjoyed his energy and candor,” said Michael Wall, global CEO of Mother and former global CEO of Interpublic’s Lowe and Partners. “He is dealing with one of the common problems of holding companies: Namely large teams of people that are largely unconnected and who can often create complexity in terms of dislocation, capability and cost before they get to a legitimate answer for their clients. Whether a high level form of intranet can help to resolve this, time will tell.”

Despite his spirited defense of Marcel and the decision to pull out of awards for a year, Sadoun made it clear that that the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity is important to him.

“I am a big fan of Cannes,” he said. “I owe my career to Cannes. I’ve been on stage to collect an agency of the year award four times. I am what I am because of creativity and Cannes has a big part to play in that.”

However, he did suggest that the hiatus from awards could have longer-term effects. “It’s a question of focus. We need to enter work because we truly believe it deserves an award, and not because the creative director knows the festival. It’s a way to bring back putting the idea and the talent first.”

Continuing in the tradition of his predecessor, Maurice Lévy, Sadoun lost no time in criticizing rival group WPP. He said that the reason Publicis Groupe had beaten WPP to win the Procter & Gamble business was that, “instead of saying ‘this is how you should organize yourself,’ we said ‘this is the kind of transformation you should do and these are the kind of people you need to do it’. You wouldn’t know who was from Sapient, Digitas, Publicis, Saatchi.”

Sunday, July 16, 2017

13752: Why Diversity Advertising Sucks.

Another indicator that diverted diversity—aka the White women’s bandwagon—has run over racial and ethnic diversity in the advertising industry can be seen by comparing diversity campaigns. That is, gender diversity advertising receives maximum attention, resources and budgets. Why, the work in this area wins major awards—and even inspires the birth of awards. Racial and ethnic diversity advertising appears to be executed by junior-level staffers from the mount room—or mailroom—who are required to use royalty-free stock photography. In the end, diversity advertising perfectly reflects, well, diversity in advertising.

Saturday, July 15, 2017