Harold Burson dies at 98: Agency Brief
After 30 years in operation, Barber Martin Agency rebrands to Yebo (pronounced “yay-bow”), a South African expression of affirmation. The rebrand aims to reflect the agency’s new mission “to create positive impact in everything we do.” The agency says the name was developed by its think-tank InnoPod. “For us, it is part of culture—our CEO [Robyn Zacharias, who is also president] hails from Zimbabwe and it’s about the Yebo effect we have on our clients, culture and community,” says Chief Creative Officer Deb Hagan.
In another rebranding highlight: Serviceplan, the independent European agency founded in 1970 and based in Munich, has undergone a (long overdue) rebrand to celebrate its half-century anniversary. The company whose previous name seemed to suggest it was some sort of utilities company will now go by House of Communications, which is perhaps an equally boring, not very descriptive moniker. Nevertheless, all of its sibling brands will be folded into House of Communications including Serviceplan, Plan.Net, Mediaplus, Facit, Solutions and Consulting.
Los Angeles-based relationship marketing agency RQ is launching a sibling company, a creative experiential shop called XQ (meaning Experiential Quotient). Chris Roberts, former director of global music projects at Red Bull, has been brought on to lead XQ. The shop says it will focus on leveraging relationships with brands, creators and artists to “help brands show up in culture and connect in real life with target consumers.”
Brownstein Group has become an official member of Worldwide Partners, a global network of independent advertising and marketing agencies. Brownstein Group has maintained a strong presence in Philadelphia since its founding there in 1964. Its clients include Saint-Gobain North America, ACI Worldwide and DuPont. It is the first Philadelphia entity to join Worldwide Partners, which was founded in 1938.
Some wins of the week
Pittsburgh agency Smith Brothers has been named agency of record for McCain Foods, the frozen potato products manufacturer, following a review managed by JLB & Partners. The assignment is for McCain’s full-service integrated communications including strategic planning, creative, production, media, analytics and web development. McCain supplies all sorts of potato products from fries to appetizers for chains like McDonald’s and other retailers, restaurants and schools. Work is expected to kick off in the first quarter.
Seaboard Foods, Kansas-based pork producer behind the Prairie Fresh brand, named Bader Rutter as its agency of record. Headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the agency says its growing Chicago office helped to score the win and will lead the account. Bader Rutter will be responsible for increasing Seaboard’s brand presence through marketing, communication and strategy. “This business is in our DNA,” says Bader Rutter Chairman Greg Nickerson, who notes that he grew up on a pig farm.
Other hires, promotions and moves
Denise Wong, who became president of L.A.-based Midnight Oil in 2018, has a new gig as CEO of One & All, an agency serving the nonprofit sector. Before Midnight Oil, Wong held leadership roles at McCann, Grey, Ogilvy and DDB. "Giving back is a priority in the world today, with individuals increasingly looking for brands and organizations that are in line with their values and that are communicating with authenticity and true purpose,” Wong says.
Nic Owen, 72andSunny Amsterdam president and partner, is departing the agency to spend more time with his family. His LinkedIn reads that he is currently “Oscar Howl Owen Wiseman” and “grateful to be able to take a break from work.” Before 72andSunny, he spent time at W&K, Mother and Anomaly."Over the last seven years Nic Owen has been a force of creativity, growth, and fearless leadership,” says a 72andSunny spokesperson. “He's an inspiration to us and although we aren't working together now, he will always be part of our 72andSunny community. We're thrilled for him and his family to get a little down time and are eager to see what he'll do next—we know it will be big."
Innocean USA poached Tim Murphy, partner and president of Siltanen & Partners Advertising, as chief operating officer. Murphy was with S&P since 2006 and credited with helping transform the then-creative boutique shop into a full-service agency. Murphy was also president and partner of City of Angels Creative Enterprises, S&P’s in-house content creation laboratory, production and post-production shop since 2011.
Kantar appointed Ian Griffiths as chief financial officer to succeed Robert Bowtell, who has held that position since 2001. He will join on January 16. Griffiths was most recently chief operating and financial officer of ITV, where he is credited with helping transition ITV from being dependent on U.K. advertising to being an international and digital business.
Mark Rosenegk has joined Dentsu Aegis Network’s The Story Lab as global VP of brand entertainment. He will be based in London and previously led partnership teams at ITV, Fremantle Media and Endemol Shine, where he is credited with driving advertiser and licensing relationships with brands including "MasterChef," "The X Factor" and "Britain’s Got Talent."
Matt Bayer, Cadreon’s senior VP, heads to independent media agency Crossmedia, where he will take up the newly-created position of head of integrated media sourcing. In the position, he’ll be the centralized leader of all the agency’s media activations spanning its planning and buying teams. At Cadreon, IPG Mediabrands’ ad tech unit, Bayer built and led the company’s advanced TV practice.
Bernstein-Rein has added Kira Clifton as senior VP and head of media connections and Jules Boasberg as senior VP of client engagement. Clifton takes up the newly-created role from Publicis’ Starcom, where she was senior VP and global group director. Boasberg rejoins the agency after taking a five-year hiatus to work as the chief marketing and growth officer for Bradley and Montgomery and then executive VP of strategic growth for Thruline Marketing. He was executive VP and growth officer at Bernstein-Rein from 2008 until 2015.
Grey London hired Raquel Chicourel as chief strategy officer. Most recently, she held that role at M&C Saatchi and before that was head of strategy at Saatchi & Saatchi, board planning director for AMV BBDO and planning director at BBH London.
Marketing communications agency Wray Ward promoted Lucas Weber to director of digital platforms from content strategist, a role he took on in 2016. In the newly-created position, Weber will be responsible for the agency’s digital platform solutions including marketing automation, user testing and CRM.
Mark Penn’s Stagwell Group announced a series of hires and promotions including Anas Ghazi, former growth officer of Kantar, as managing director and chief strategy officer; Politico veteran Alexis Williams as executive VP and head of marketing; Merrill Raman, chief information officer of Harris Poll, as managing director of enterprise data; and National Journal’s Regan Considine as senior director. The team will be led by Beth Lester Sidhu, chief operating officer and newly-promoted chief marketing officer.
Independent agency B-Reel in London has hired Dominic Goldman as executive creative director. This will mark his return to London from Los Angeles, where he was a group creative director for 72andSunny. His prior past roles include creative director and managing partner at BBH, executive creative director for Grey London and joint executive creative director then global creative director at Iconoclast.
Agency &Barr has named Christian Wojciechowski as creative director. A veteran of Tribal DDB and The Martin Agency as well as a founding member of Pyro at The Richards Group, Wojciechowski has worked with brands like Nike, Hummer, Converse, Walmart, Mitsubishi, Pepsi, Microsoft, P&G and Samsung.
Kate Julian has joined branding and marketing agency OffLeash as senior director of client services. Previously she built and led client services teams for agencies like SE2 and Location3 Digital Marketing. At OffLeash, Julian will work closely with clients from “discovery to delivery to align expectations so they receive the right services within a carefully managed budget,” the agency says.