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Latest news from The Drum

Time Inc. to acquire live media company inVNT
Posted on Tuesday July 07, 2015

Time Inc. has announced its plans to acquire seven-year-old experiential company inVNT, which specializes in live media and brand environments.

The company will keep its name and will continue to serve its existing clients. Scott Cullather, founder and global managing partner of inVNT, will continue to lead the company and will report to Time Inc.’s executive vice president of global advertising Mark Ford.

Together, the two companies currently present more than 575 events a year in the consumer and business-to-business space. While inVNT manages events such as the Cadillac V-Series Media Drives and the PCNA (PepsiCo) Bottler event, Time Inc. hosts the Time 100 and the Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit.

Of the acquisition, Ford said: “inVNT is a creative powerhouse. They understand consumers, marketers and how to create stellar live media events. By combining inVNT’s resources and Time Inc.’s iconic brands, we will be able to leverage our existing live media offerings and create new media platforms for our marketing partners.”

Cullather said: “Time Inc.’s resources, brands and franchises bring enormous opportunity to inVNT. Getting in on the ground floor of Time Inc.’s live media investments accelerates our goal for more collaboration and more creativity as we aim to be an internationally recognized force in live media.”

Founded in 2008, inVNT is headquartered in New York and has offices in London, Washington D.C., Detroit, San Francisco, and Laguna Beach, California.

According to the company, it works on more than 200 events annually with companies that include Merck, General Motors, and Subway.

Reddit CEO Pao admits ‘We screwed up… over the past several years’
Posted on Tuesday July 07, 2015

Reddit chief executive Ellen Pao has announced the site's top brass have repeatedly “screwed up” over the last few years when it comes to communicating site changes to moderates and users.

Pao is under the microscope after a petition calling for her to step down hit over 200,000 signatures in light of the Reddit recently clamping down on a number of abusive subReddits.

Acknowledging the issue, Pao posted on the site saying: “We screwed up. Not just on 2 July, but also over the past several years. We haven’t communicated well, and we have surprised moderators and the community with big changes.

“We have apologized and made promises to you, the moderators and the community, over many years, but time and again, we haven’t delivered on them.

“When you’ve had feedback or requests, we haven’t always been responsive. The mods and the community have lost trust in me and in us, the administrators of Reddit.”

To clean up the site’s act, Pao reinforced three steps going forward. These were building new tools for Redditors to use, employing moderator advocates to communicate with those running subReddits and a possible return to old search versions to reduce moderator workloads.

Time will tell whether Reddit’s 30 million monthly users feel enough has been done to improve the situation at the company.

NUJ accepts ITV pay deal after ‘considerable movement’ from the broadcaster
Posted on Tuesday July 07, 2015

The National Union of Journalists (NUJ) has joined media and entertainment trade union Bectu in accepting ITV's pay and conditions offer after lengthy negotiations.

Following the industrial action taken on 14 May at the broadcaster, 97 per cent of NUJ members voted to accept a pay rise of 2.2 per cent for those earning under £60,000, to be implemented in 2016.

Furthermore, strikers agreed on an increase of the redundancy gap from £36,000 to £45,000 as of 1 September on top of keeping bonus levels at £1,500 for 2017.

Sue Harris, national broadcasting organiser at the NUJ, said: "We are pleased that these protracted negotiations are now at an end and that ITV has made considerable movement, particularly on issues such as the redundancy cap and additional leave for long service, all claims which had been stalled by management for several consecutive years.

“In addition the 2.2 per cent pay rise being offered for 2016 is projected, in the current economic climate, to represent an above RPI pay rise. Achieving this and some catch up for past years has been one of the joint union’s key aims.”

Staff who served over five years at ITV were also rewarded an extra two holidays an annum to recognise their “commitment” to the company.

FBI raids Subway spokesman Jared Fogle's house in child porn investigation
Posted on Tuesday July 07, 2015

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has raided the home of Subway ambassador Jared Fogle as part of a child pornography investigation.

The Zionsville, Indiana home of the spokesman, who famously lost a reported 235lb on a diet solely composed of Subway sandwiches and regular exercise, was raided by authorities early on Tuesday morning.

The raid comes after Russell Taylor, the ex-director of Fogle’s Jared Foundation charity was arrested for possessing over 500 child porn videos, although the FBI refused to say whether the cases are linked.

Fogle was prominent in much of Subway’s advertising at the break of the millennium after his dramatic weight loss on a diet of one six-inch turkey sub and one twelve-inch veggie sub a day for a year.

Can’t remember Jared? Refresh your memory in this classic Subway ad which originally aired in the US.

Ad of the Day: Taco Bell - Bacon Mall
Posted on Tuesday July 07, 2015

To promote its bacon club chalupa, Taco Bell has launched a spot that features a man walking through a mall filled with bacon-themed products.

The ad pokes fun at society’s obsession with bacon and bacon-themed products. In the video, the man walks past a woman selling bacon-scented perfume and a man getting a strip of bacon tattooed on his arm.

With the tagline “Bacon you can’t eat is bacon you don’t need,’ the video reminds viewers why they love bacon so much in the first place.

It features a remake of the Tears For Fears’ song ‘Mad World.’

Created by Deutsch LA, the campaign also includes ten social videos that showcase faux bacon products in addition to the TV spot.


Agency: Deutsch
Chief Creative Officer, North America: Pete Favat
Executive Creative Director: Brett Craig 
Group Creative Director: Guto Araki
Group Creative Director: Tom Pettus
Creative Director: Andy Pearson
Creative Director: Ken Slater
Associate Creative Director: Jeremiah Wassom
Senior Copywriter: Chris Pouy
Additional Credits: Director of Integrated Production: Vic Palumbo
Executive Integrated Producer: Paul Roy
Integrated Producer: Jamie Gartner
Assistant Integrated Producer: Evan Aronson
Music Director: Dave Rocco
Account Management Credits
Group Account Director: Walter Smith
Account Director: Sandy Song
Account Supervisor: Monica Tobin
Account Executive: Sasha Rawji
Account Planning 
Chief Strategic Officer: Colin Drummond
Group Planning Director: Lindsey Allison
Senior Account Planner: Kelly Mertesdorf  
Business Affairs/Traffic
Director of Integrated Business Affairs: Abilino Guillermo
Business Affairs Manager: Nestor Gandia
Director or Broadcast Traffic: Carie Bonillo
Sr. Broadcast Traffic Manager: Sarah Freeark
CEO, North America: Mike Sheldon
President, Los Angeles: Kim Getty
Live Action Production Company: Reset
Director: Vesa Manninen
Managing Director: Dave Morrison
Executive Producer: Jeff McDougall
Producer: Jennifer Ingalls
Line Producer: Ahnee Boyce
Editorial Company: Therapy Studios
Editor: Doobie White
Assistant Editor: Amy K. Bostrom
Executive Producer:  Joe DiSanto
Head of Production: Allegra Bartlett
Post Facility: MPC
Producer: Summer McCloskey
Senior Colorist:  Mark Gethin
Post/VFX: Therapy Studios
Executive Producer:  Joe DiSanto
Lead Flame Artist: Wren Waters
Licensed/Composed Music, Credits and Track Info:
Track:  “Mad World”
Covered by: Halsey
Writer: Roland Orzabal
Audio Post Company: Therapy Studios
Executive Producer:  Joe DiSanto
Mixer: Jeff Fuller
Sound Design: Eddie Kim

Jaywing promotes Epiphany's Rob Shaw and Adrian Lingard
Posted on Tuesday July 07, 2015

Jaywing has promoted Epiphany chief executive (CEO) Rob Shaw to Jaywing CEO UK & Australia and consulting managing director Adrian Lingard to Jaywing chief operating officer (COO) as the group looks to tighten its focus and build on strong results. 

The reshuffle will see Shaw assume responsibility for agency management across the group while Lingard takes on a group-wide commercial management role, while retaining oversight of the firm’s consultancy operations. 

Current COO Andy Gardner moves to chief strategy officer with specific focus on international distribution, product development and M&A activity, signalling a new and focused strategic direction for Jaywing. Mike Sprot has been promoted to chief financial officer and Martin Boddy remains at the helm as CEO of Jaywing. 

The role left vacant by Shaw will be filled by Epiphany’s strategy director, Tom Salmon while Lingard’s senior team will see an increase in their responsibilities.

Results revealed today saw a 39 per cent increase in GP to £30.1m with a fourth consecutive period of EBITDA growth, which is up 75 per cent on 2014 results.  Jaywing also cites full integration and strong contribution from its Epiphany acquisition in March 2014.

Jaywing CEO Martin Boddy commented: “We have an exciting strategy that will see Jaywing move ever further away from being ‘another’ marketing agency group to being a marketing agency specialising in data science and working in areas of growing marketing spend. A business that has both a high level of resilience and a strong platform for domestic and international growth. And of course, a business with some exceptional people working in a highly collaborative environment for blue chip clients.”

Jaywing today (7 July) announced a new positioning for the firm; 'making sense of now', which will utilise the company's data credentials to help clients make more sense of a multi-channel, multi-device environment. 

Advertising's representation of LGBT people is still behind the times
Posted on Tuesday July 07, 2015

Advertising has always been about ideals. It sells the hope of better: a perfect life in a utopian world.

That’s why there is a strong – if not exclusive – focus on being the ideal person. We’re told we should aspire to be part of a devastatingly attractive heterosexual Caucasian couple within a nuclear family, possessing so much disposable income that we don’t know quite what to do with it – other than spend it on products that will make them even more attractive and successful, of course.

But a certain demographic has long been absent from the four corners of the TV ad break screen, billboard and printed page. Gay people.

Probably because gay people aren’t ideal for advertising – in many senses. Same sex couples don’t have gender-defined binary roles with must-have products to suit. Their orientation is controversial in certain territories, so their inclusion could be commercially challenging. And it’s difficult to show ‘a housewife’ or ‘breadwinner’ figure in a 30-second ad if they’re both male, female or trans.

Bluntly, advertising doesn’t target gay people because they’re an unknown entity. ‘How do we portray them?’, ‘what do we sell them?’ and ‘good Lord, let’s not offend anyone’ are deterring concerns often whispered in agencies before the executive decision is taken to run with a straight heterosexual focus.

So instead gay people in advertising feature in background or sideshow roles – roles that the general public are comfortable with. Gay people can raise a smile and add light relief to adverts with some sharp comments and a flourish of glitter – think Dale Winton adding some showbiz spangle in those ads for, or as the predictable gay best friend (Gok Wan and his hordes of Activia Bifidus addicts springs to mind). But they never take the leading role (much unlike the West End, I jest).

As the confetti from Pride Season settled we saw the annual influx of LGBTQ-centric advertising. Smirnoff launched a brilliant inclusivity campaign leading with ‘Homosexual, heterosexual, who-gives-a-sexual?’. The likes of Fortnum & Masons surely raised a few eyebrows again with a well-engineered apostrophe in its print ads (‘Proud to be the queens’ grocer’). This acknowledgement is certainly positive – however it does seem to tiptoe around any real representation.

Gay people are generally invisible. Not one of these advertisements featured an obviously same sex couple; there were Pride colours, sparkles, nods and winks, but (with the exception of the brilliant ‘Pride Heroes’ campaign by Pride in London) there simply weren't any LGBTQ people in any brand’s adverts. They’re invisible because they’re missing.

“Nonsense!’ you exclaim. “There are loads of ads that feature gay people”. Granted, there are – but they’re often featured as a kind of sensationalism, a risqué subject to show how daring or adventurous a brand is. Fashion advertising features female models in bizarre poses with strong sexual overtones; whilst at the other end of the scale J C Penney features headline-grabbing same sex couples in its Mother’s Day and Father’s Day adverts. Here, gay people are a cause for sensationalism and attention. The everyday gay people are unseen.

So wouldn’t it be better if gay people within adverts were invisible for the right reasons? Not in the sense of being missing, but by being unnoticed. Wouldn’t true equality come from representation that is subtle and implied, instead of being headline grabbing and edgy?

This was perfectly summed up by a friend who once suggested how good it could be if we reached the stage where "you see an ad for DFS, and instead of a man and a woman on a sofa with the kids you see two guys and their children. Nothing over the top, just the same kind of subtlety you see in straight TV families".

Unfortunately this casual inference seems highly unlikely. Advertising relies upon stereotypes to get the message across. In a world of five-second pre-rolls and 140-character tweets, stereotypes and archetypes get the message across with familiarity and without confusion.

I know that this may be wishful thinking, but I can’t help longing for the day when gay people are truly invisible in advertising – not being marked out by stereotypes or sensationalism. Just a gentle representation that is fair and genuine, letting them blend in like straight people. Free from the whiff of a brand wishing to be politically correct, edgy or superficially inclusive.

And that could be many, many Prides away.

Jacob Lovewell is a junior planner at Kitcatt Nohr

Coke Middle East ditches labels in Ramadan equality push
Posted on Tuesday July 07, 2015

Coca-Cola has removed its logo from its can branding in a bid to encourage people not to ‘label’ each other.

The campaign, which is running in the Middle East instructing people not to judge each other during Ramadan, features minimalist Coca-Cola branding.

Pepsi Max and KFC team up for musical hidden camera ad
Posted on Tuesday July 07, 2015

Pepsi’s latest advertising campaign has aligned itself with the popularity of summer music festivals by surprising KFC drive-through customers with personalised party jams created by a behind-the-scenes DJ and played back to them at the collection window.

The ad uses hidden cameras to capture the reactions of baffled customers as they place their KFC food and Pepsi Max orders over the drive-through speaker with Super Tall Paul, the loop artist extraordinaire.

While customers are placing their orders, Paul is shown using his sound decks and various musical instruments to create a musical soundbite of their voice during the order.

The long-haired quirky American then surprises customers upon collection of their food with a live musical version of their conversation accompanied by disco lights, instruments and a full blown sound system. Many of the customers appear completely taken aback upon encountering Super Tall Paul before laughing as he plays back the newly created custom track.

The ad shows Paul flirting with one of the customers over the speaker and closes with him getting into her car before it drives off.

Given that Pepsi is a supplier to all KFC restaurants, it is unsurprising that the fast food chain’s products, logo and signage all feature in the ad.

The ad can viewed in full above.

City Football Group and SAP embrace the cloud for player and business management
Posted on Tuesday July 07, 2015

City Football Group, the holding firm of Manchester City, New York City, Melbourne City and Yokohama F. Marinos, has signed a new marketing and management partnership deal with SAP to implement cloud-based solutions across the company.

As the official ‘Cloud Software Provider’, SAP will transform the way the group and its football teams operate by simplifying worldwide operations, exporting the day-to-day data onto the cloud.

The partnership aims to help increase productivity, enhance the fan experience and will spearhead the development of new technology and products to track the performance of players from each team.

Khaldoon al Mubarak, chairman of City Football Group, said: “This partnership is as important as it is broad, stretching across all entities within the City Football Group… in SAP we have found a technology partner that is committed globally to our businesses and one that shares our constant drive for innovation.

“Our common ambition is to create groundbreaking football specific technology solutions and products and I have every confidence that we will be successful."

The technology will also see greater inter-team collaboration on business and HR processes.