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Latest news from The Drum

Does intellectual property lie at the heart of the new business model for agencies?
Posted on Wednesday July 01, 2015

The first Creative Birmingham event took place at the BBC with an audience representing a cross-section of the City’s creative community.

The event provided a wealth of insight into the lessons agencies can learn from different sectors of the creative community, from gaming to theatre.

The session was chaired by Andy Wilson, WAA Chairman and IPA City Head for Greater Birmingham. On the panel were Cat Lewis (Nine Lives Media and PACT), Jonnie Turpie (Maverick TV) Stuart Rogers (Birmingham Rep) Drew Wilkins (Fish in a bottle) and Lesa Le Monnier (The Partnership).

What can agencies learn from independent television production?

Fifteen years ago Jonnie Turpie was making programmes for Birmingham television and earning a 10% production fee. He remembers being laughed out of court for being a lifestyle company rather than a business by a venture capital company.

But then things changed. Working with John McVay and Eileen Gallagher at PACT, and Tessa Jowell in Government, Jonnie helped change the terms of trade for independent television production.

It took two years, to come up with the 2003 Communications Act, resulting in independent programme makers sharing the primary rights to their production with broadcasters – for up to three showings on terrestrial TV. The secondary rights then fall to the independent TV companies to exploit the format they have created on other channels or in other territories. 

And look what a difference it’s made to the value of the sector. Cat Lewis, owner of Nine Lives, described the change that owning IP had made to the independent television industry in the last 10 years - it now represents £3.5bn of the UK economy. One third of Nine Lives' earnings are now in UK production, one third comes from international sales, and one third from making programmes for the rest of the world.

What can agencies learn from theatre?

Twenty years ago Birmingham Rep won the rights as sole producer to the stage production of The Snowman. It’s played for six weeks in the West End and ever since toured the UK and the rest of the world.

The theatre has licensed the production in Korea, and is now negotiating rights in the US and Australia. It’s been worth £10m to the Rep in income so far. Not surprisingly, given this business success, most of Stuart Rogers’ job as Artistic Director is about looking for the next Snowman.

Birmingham Rep’s IP resides in the ‘whole thing put together’. If the show is a success, the theatre takes a share of the profits. If the production then goes on tour, Birmingham Rep can sell it to a commercial producer for a fee and take royalties on the back of its success. If Birmingham Rep distributes it, the company pays itself a royalty.

Exclusivity is worth its weight in gold; Birmingham Rep got exclusivity on 12 Angry Men on stage with Bill Nighy.

What can agencies learn from the games industry?

Drew Wilkins runs a ‘work for hire’ production company, Fish in a Bottle, and creates branded content like Sponge Bob, and Domestos games with Nickelodeon.

NBC Universal commissioned it to produce new digital content for TV series Heroes, and it came up with a new character. NBC signed away rights to the BBC in the UK, and the BBC signed away rights to MBC. And the consequence was that it lost control of the character it created and it died after 90 seconds on screen.

The good news is that the business model in games is adapting. Developers produce IP, and sign it over to publishers, but they are paid a fee plus royalties. The way it works in games you can share royalties if you fund the development. This can work particularly well on mobile.

Smaller developers are now going down a self-funding model too, bypassing the publisher so that they can exploit their own IP. It’s a win for the developer if it catches on, but it’s risky.

Where does this leave agencies?

Lesa Le Monnier, client services director at IPA member agency The Partnership, believes there is potential for IP to expand at a global brand level. Her agency recently created a regional campaign, and the client has taken it global, using another agency. The Partnership are missing out on the exploitation because they haven’t contracted to license usage of the creative work.

As a small agency, Lesa thinks there are five things that need to happen to put a discussion about IP on the agenda at the agency, and with the client:

  • Education – for the agency to have confidence, not just see itself as a supplier
  • Transparency – to clear contracts upfront, with less ambiguity. Be clear about who owns the source code, the copyright on imagery, or new ideas
  • Information is key –  to understand the potential for license rights on e.g. music
  • A framework – provide a joint guidance note for how to approach the discussion
  • Better commercial relationships with the client – their success is our success

The way forward

It’s time for agencies to propose a different business model to clients: a smaller upfront fee, and royalties from successful exploitation of the idea. Branded content and cross-platform provide the opportunity to change the rules of the game. I look forward to working with the IPA to take this thinking forward.

By Andy Wilson, Chairman, WAA!, IPA Birmingham City head

'Digital and beauty are the perfect match' – L’Oréal CEO Jean-Paul Agon talks strategy and Frenchness with Maurice Lévy
Posted on Wednesday July 01, 2015

Maurice Lévy: You were amongst the first business leaders of a mass-consumption brand to appoint a chief digital officer, Lubomira Rochet. How do you see the influence of digital on L’Oréal in the future? And to what extent has the digital revolution forced you to change your own business?

Jean-Paul Agon: We’re very lucky because digital and beauty are the perfect match. Our industry is the one benefiting most from this new digital era, because beauty is one of the favourite topics of internet users. And beauty is one of the fastest-growing categories in e-commerce.

The digital revolution is completely reinventing and redefining the rules of the game in the beauty industry, as it is in all sectors. It is a new way of creating and selling products, a new way of communicating with our consumers. Digital enables us to transform the way we engage with them. In this era of connected beauty, personalised digital services will determine the success of our brands and products.

This revolution is thus a major opportunity for us and we want to maximise it, because for us, digital equals growth. If we want to win the battle for growth, we must win the digital battle. This is why, one year ago, I appointed Lubomira Rochet as chief digital officer of the group and member of the executive committee to accelerate the digital transformation of L’Oréal.

Petition for Macy's to drop Donald Trump merch gets fired up
Posted on Wednesday July 01, 2015

A petition to get presidential candidate Donald Trump’s products dropped by US retailer Macy’s is gaining momentum with the push sitting just short of three quarters of a million signatories.

Following NBC dropping Trump as the fire-happy host of the Apprentice as a result of him branding Mexican immigrants as [sic] "rapers" and "killers", angered petitioners moved to pressure Macy’s to drop his merchandise from shelves.

The petition, hosted on, has at the time of publication mustered an impressive 726,802 signatures, calling for the tycoon's products to be canned

Initiated by an Angelo Carusone, the petition reads: “Macy's: Donald Trump does not reflect ‘the magic of Macy's’.

“We urge you to sever ties with him. Macy's says it has a strong obligation to be ‘socially responsible’ and that ‘actions speak louder than words.’ Indeed. It's time to act.”

The backlash also saw Trump’s partially owned Miss USA pageant canned by Univision last week.

Mark Zuckerberg discusses his vision for the future of Facebook
Posted on Wednesday July 01, 2015

During an online Q&A which featured questions from Arnold Schwarzenegger and Stephen Hawking, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg talked about the future of the company in a discussion which covered the evolution of technology, workout routines and transgender issues.

During the hour-long session Zuckerberg touched on his vision of the “ultimate communication technology” which he hopes will allow people to send thoughts directly to each other. The social media figurehead admitted that he believed that “we'll be able to send full rich thoughts to each other directly using technology".

“You'll just be able to think of something and your friends will immediately be able to experience it. This would be the ultimate technology” he said.

New technologies such as photo recognition were also brought up in the session. According to Zuckerberg, Facebook is “building systems that can recognise everything that’s in an image or video" including people, objects and scenes. He also said that his goal was to “build AI systems that are better than humans at our primary senses: vision, listening etc”.

Stephen Hawking took the opportunity to ask the Facebook chief executive “which of the big questions in science would you like to know the answer to and why?” Zuckerberg replied that his focus was on people and so he would like to know: “What will enable us to live forever? How do we cure all diseases? How does the brain work? How does learning work and how can we empower humans to learn a million times more.”

Schwarzenegger was keen to know about Zuckerberg’s exercise routine and asked the 31 year-old “How do you find time to train and what is your regime like?” He replied that he works out three time a week when he first wakes up and goes running with his dog.

Alex Kantrowitz, a senior technology reporter at BuzzFeed, turned the conversation onto transgender issues. He said that Facebook’s real name policy is considered discriminatory by many transgender people, even putting their lives at risk, and asked if it would end.

The point was turned around by Zuckerberg who argued that it keeps users safe because “people are much less likely to act abusive towards other members of our community when they are using their real names”. He highlighted confusion about what the policy actually is, citing that the term ‘real name’ does not mean your legal name, rather the name that you go by.

Yesterday the company announced a new appointment hiring Google’s Andy Mihalop to head up the UK sales operation of its ad tech business Atlas.

Twitter and London Design Festival unveil #PoweredByTweets winners
Posted on Wednesday July 01, 2015

A pigeon that tracks air control and a Twitter-enabled tap to track donations to WaterAid are among the winners of the Twitter and London Design Festival #PoweredByTweets competition.

The contest, which kicked off three months ago, was launched to encourage Twitter users to create something beautiful via the social platform, or use Twitter to solve a problem.

Three winners were selected in each category and each of the entries will be built by Pixie Labs and exhibited during the London Design Festival at Somerset House in September. In addition the winners, which include Cheil, WaterAid and Guy’s and St Thomas’s Hospital, will also receive a Twitter Ads budget to help spread their ideas even further. 

Speaking to The Drum Twitter’s head of creative agency development Helen Lawrence said the competition was created to show another side to the social media site.

“The publishing side [of Twitter] is really big,” said Lawrence. “I think people know us for breaking stories, and photos and content and videos but I think the competition is about seeing the other side of it and the potential Twitter has.

"When you tell people Twitter can do anything they come up with the weirdest stuff you could ever imagine which is wonderful. We wanted to see that really broad spectrum of the really fun stuff, the frivolous stuff but also the stuff that can genuinely change the world.”

This is the first time Twitter has run the competition and the company will now launch it in Italy and look to continue a roll out into other markets. “Recognising amazing people in the community is something we are hoping to do a lot more of,” added Lawrence.

Take a look at the winning designs below.


Apple’s iPhone 6S photos leaked - get your first look
Posted on Wednesday July 01, 2015

So it has begun, the first stills of Apple’s upcoming flagship smartphone (the 6S) have been leaked, with the device looking much the same as its predecessor, at least on the outside.

Images acquired by 9to5 Mac reporter Mark Gurman, grant Apple fans the first look at the next must-have mobile in the tech giant's range.

US Creative Department: Featuring Innocean USA, Saatchi & Saatchi NY, Doner LA and more
Posted on Wednesday July 01, 2015

Welcome to US Creative Department.

Each week this section will aim to showcase the latest creative work to come out of not only the US but Canada, Mexico, and South America as well.

It will give you, the reader, the chance to decide what is best.

You can vote for the work you like best simply by clicking the 'Like' button under the work. The winner will be named The Drum's 'Ad of the Week'.

Submit your vote before Wednesday July 8 to guarantee your vote has been counted.

To submit work for future publication contact For voting updates and more follow The Drum Creative Showcase on Twitter @TheDrumCreative

Vauxhall celebrates Lucy Bronze's winning goal in tactical campaign ahead of semi-final match
Posted on Wednesday July 01, 2015

Vauxhall has unveiled a tactical campaign as the England women’s football team take on Japan in the semi-finals of the World Cup.

Created by 101, the advert wishes the ladies luck and celebrates Lucy Bronze’s winning goal which took the team through to this crucial stage.

The ad is set to run across national press today (Wednesday 1 July).


Assassin's Creed owner Ubisoft appoints Havas to handle media planning and buying
Posted on Wednesday July 01, 2015

Video game developer and publisher Ubisoft has appointed Havas Media to its media planning and buying account.

Ubisoft, which counts Assassin’s Creed, Just Dance, Tom Clancy’s video game series, Rayman and Far Cry among its portfolio, has tasked Havas Media to handle its products across 17 countries in Europe and Australia. The contract will also involve the management and central coordination of all of Ubisoft's central and local media activation.

“We are very pleased to announce our partnership with Havas Media," said Geoffroy Sardin, senior vice president sales and marketing at Ubisoft.

"During the competitive pitch process the team were able to clearly demonstrate their vision that will provide answers to today’s challenges in the media landscape as well as supply us with insightful consumer understanding and meaningful connections through their approach to data driven content."

Paul Frampton, chief executive of Havas Media said: "We are thrilled to be working with Ubisoft and some of the world's most exciting gaming brands. We look forward to delivering the Havas vision of unifying data & content to create truly meaningful connections with loyal gaming communities and new audiences." 

The account started 1 April this year. 


Cancer Research UK launches DNA-inspired art trail across London to raise funds for Francis Crick Institute
Posted on Wednesday July 01, 2015

Cancer Research UK has collaborated with SomeOne to launch a DNA-inspired art trail across London to raise awareness and funds for the Francis Crick Institute, due to open in 2016.

At total of 21 sculptures, customised by leading artists, designers and sculptors including Ai WeiWei, Orla Kiely and Chris and Xand van Tulleken, will be placed around London for 10 weeks before being auctioned off at Christie’s in September.