People: The Mozza Stays On

Publicis Groupe chief executive Maurice Lévy has put on hold plans to retire at the end of next year, after the resignation of David Kenny, managing partner of the holding company’s Vivaki unit and a possible successor for Lévy’s job. Lévy, in a statement said he would “stay on board as long as needed,” at the request of the Publicis’ supervisory board. M. Levy has always been a supporter of Connections and I applaud his move.
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Beverage: Glen Rossie Rossi, Fucking Hell Beer, Coca Colla

“Glen Rossie has a tremendous whisky heritage and as we approach its 200th anniversary in 2014 we want to turn it into a global brand,” said David Birchall, chief executive of The Brand Cellar. Rossi signed up to become the face of the brand earlier this year, with Birchall claiming the rock legend can improve Glen Rossie’s success in overseas markets: “As ‘front man’ for the Glen Rossie brand, we believe he can help us reinvigorate sales not just in the UK but, as someone who has sold 118m records worldwide, overseas too.”

German Execs Win Rights to Best Beer Name Ever
An Upper Austrian village called Fucking, is the inspiration for a new beer called Fucking Hell. Yes, the common English term for surprise and/or frustration is now a brand name thanks to a German firm which has been granted permission by the European Union’s Trade Marks and Designs Registration Office to brew beer and produce clothing under the name.

A certain US soft drinks giant may disagree, but Bolivia has come up with a fizzy beverage it says is the real thing: Coca Colla. The drink, made from the coca leaf and named after the indigenous Colla people from Bolivia’s highlands, went on sale this week across the South American country. It is black, sweet and comes in a bottle with a red label – but similarities to Coca-Cola end there. One is a symbol of US-led globalisation and corporate might; the other could be considered a socialist-tinged affront to western imperialism. The first batch of 12,000 bottles, priced about $1.50 (96p) for half a litre, were distributed in the capital, La Paz, as well as Santa Cruz and Cochabamba. The familiar-sounding name and packaging may rile the Atlanta-based soft drinks manufacturer, but Coca Colla could also cause groans in Washington.
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People: Piers Fawkes, James Fox, Sly Grice

David Weiner, the New York editor of Huffington Post, recently interviewed the purple one about living and working in New York City – a city he has lived for seven years. The hirsute high-brow waxed lyrical about the change effecting the creative industries they work in; public art; and my plans for the ‘Alleyway of Ideas’. Hopefully Piers’ thatch of hair will prevent his head from becoming too swollen!
Jay Lenstrom, CEO of global marketing services company The Red Peak Group, announced today the appointment of James Fox as Chief Strategic Officer. Based in New York, Fox will lead strategic planning across the company’s client roster. He reports to Lenstrom.

Sly Bailey. Trinity Mirror chief’s pay rises to £1.7m
Sly Bailey (nee Grice), the chief executive of Trinity Mirror, pocketed an overall pay packet of £1.68m in 2009 despite the company reporting a 41% slump in pre-tax profits during the year. Bailey, the highest paid director at Trinity Mirror, netted a basic salary of £736,000 and a cash bonus of £671,000 in the year. Her overall remuneration, including a £248,000 pension contribution, rose to £1.68m, compared to £1.53m the previous year.

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Agencies: Traditional agencies too resistant to digital … Digital agencies not ready to lead … UK shops losing their touch …

Agency bosses too old and change resistant, claims Sorrell
WPP chief executive Sir Martin Sorrell (aged 64) claims that brands are not spending enough online because the people who run their agencies are too old and resistant to change. Delivering the opening keynote session at ad:tech New York, Sorrell criticised brands for investing an average of just 13 per cent of their marketing budget online despite the rapid increase in digital media consumption.

sir martin sorrell

Why Digital Agencies Aren’t Ready to Lead
Ana Andjelic opines: “Any conversation about digital marketing these days includes at least one mention that traditional agencies just “don’t get it.” While this may be correct, it’s equally true that digital agencies are not ready to take the lead. Look at the typical digital agency. It excels in exploring new horizons. It supports a flat and loose organizational structure in which a developer has access to the CEO. And it makes sure everyone’s opinion is heard. It’s one big crazy family. Digital agencies are having fun experimenting with ideas, technologies and strategies to find new alternatives superior to obsolete ways of doing marketing. That’s what they do best. The problem is, this is the only thing they are doing. When they are asked to actually follow through on their ideas, they often come up short. It is because they don’t know the business of marketing (or want to know it, for that matter), and they rarely have the organizational structure or past practices to guide them.”

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The London ad scene, which has long produced groundbreaking TV commercials that are the envy of New York creatives, is suffering through an identity crisis. Slowness in adapting to the digital reality is causing some intense navel-gazing, with many concluding that U.K. agencies and marketers have to get up to speed — and fast. David Droga grew up in Australia admiring British advertising as the best in the world, and at age 29 was made executive creative director of Saatchi & Saatchi London. Mr. Droga has since moved on — he left London for New York in 2003 — but he claims that U.K. creativity is still pretty much back where he left it nearly seven years ago. “There is no question that TV, press and outdoor are still the primary focus in the U.K.,” Mr. Droga said. “There is less integration there, and a tendency to default to the safety of TV and posters.” I might point out to Dave that this is probably true of the big shops in the US …

Possibly related

Sir Martin Sorrell: Rupert Murdoch’s pay wall plan is right (telegraph.co.uk)

Profits halved at advertising firm WPP (guardian.co.uk)

Does Sir Martin have another motive for peddling his alphabet soup? (telegraph.co.uk)

WPP profits down by nearly 50% (guardian.co.uk)

WPP sees little evidence of ‘stouter hearts’ needed to spend during downturn (telegraph.co.uk)

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Razorfish names Bob Lord CEO

AdAge: Razorfish Names Bob Lord CEO
Razorfish has named Bob Lord its new CEO, with Clark Kokich moving to chairman. The Microsoft-owned digital shop elevated Lord (pictured) to global chief executive from president of Razorfish’s East region. He served in that role for four years and has held other posts at the agency, including leading its Latin America business.

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