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Latest news from The Drum

Promposals and how brands are using Snapchat and ephemeral content to reach teens
Posted on Friday May 22, 2015

It's promposal season and brands are joining the fun. For those unfamiliar with the act of promposing, simply put "it is the act of asking someone to go to the prom with you." Teens have been lavishly asking their dates to the prom for decades but the Snapchat generation has taken the act to an entire new level that's causing major brands to pay attention and participate.

Yesterday, I moderated a Shorty Awards panel (the ceremony I produce) on Snapchat and ephemeral content at at ad:tech in San Francisco. MTV's VP of Digital Strategy and Fan Engagement Jack Daley, Taco Bell's VP of Digital and On-Demand Tressie Lieberman, Sour Patch Kids (a Mondelēz brand) Senior Associate Brand Manager Lauren Fleischer and HUGE Head of Social Joe McCaffrey discussed how important Snapchat has become to reach younger audiences and the ways their brands are using the platform and other ephemeral social networks like Periscope. Here are the highlights and best practices they shared.

Engaging teens on Snapchat during promposal season:

Last month, Vanity Fair recently described promposals as "the fastest-growing form of public affection." Both Sour Patch Kids, the yummy candy that's popular among teens and MTV who reaches a young audience created genius ways to participate in the fun.

Fleischer told the audience that Sour Patch Kids will soon host their very own prom after finishing a competition where they asked teens to submit their promposals on Snapchat and social media. The winners and submissions are currently featured on their Tumblr.

Fleischer said their prom was also supported by creative on TV showing once again how strong the relationship between the older mass medium and the newer fragmented social channels are.

Daley described MTV's Promposal Mania, launched last month across their Snapchat, Perisocope, linear channel and more. 

In honor of the newest of prom rituals, MTV is launching “Promposal Mania,” a two-day celebration of prom across all MTV platforms beginning Monday, April 20. On Monday, teen sensation Austin Mahone will be live in studio at MTV’s Times Square headquarters to accept one lucky viewer’s promposal. On Tuesday, April 21st, Fifth Harmony will orchestrate an unforgettable live promposal for one Harmonizer and their proposed date.

Daley said the results on Snapchat have been outstanding. "Forty to fifty percent of our followers on Snapchat view our Story each day." 

Lieberman described how Taco Bell recently started using Periscope for making announcements that just a few years ago might have only made it in a corporate press release. This included announcing a free giveaway on Cinco de Mayo.

Expirementing with Periscope, the latest shiny new social network:

Daley told the audience that there's a "temptation to go for the bright shiny object," but "bright shiny objects lose that shine if you're not successful with metrics you've set up."

MTV is still experimenting with Periscope and is making an effort to do things that are fun, sincere and don't require a lot of production. Daley said MTV's community managers recently played a game of "would you rather" on the MTV Persicope. He talked about the challenges with live content and the importantce of trying to make sure that you're not Periscoping where there will be long and often awkward silences in between the big moments.

Why Snapchat is the perfect platform for brands to find their most passionaite fans.

"There's no discover section," Lieberman reminded the audience about Snapchat. "You actually need to go into the app search for 'tacobell' and manually add us as a friend." This proactive social media engagement has led Taco Bell to continue to grow their precence on Snapchat. The food chain was extremely early to the platform. 

The people behind brand Snapchatting:

All the panelists talked about how amazing the community managers and content creators managing the brands' Snapchats are. Lieberman said that the two creators behind Taco Bell's Snapchat are extremely close with the community and that the community knows who they are. 

One of the biggest brand Snapchat successes to date:

McCaffrey talked about the Snapchat work they did with Audi during the Superbowl in 2014 and then later with ABC Family's Pretty Little Liars. The success they had during the Superbowl set an important example for many more brands who have now since joined Snapchat.

The campaign received 100,000 total views on Snapchat and generated 2,400 mentions on Twitter, reaching a total of 37 million social impressions. Thirty percent of all Audi Super Bowl conversation stemmed from Snapchat. The team manually added 9,600 followers to the Audi Snapchat account over 48 hours, reaching a total of 10,500 followers, pushing Snapchat's ability to keep up with the volume of user growth.

When asked if it was difficult to convince Audi to get on Snapchat early on McCaffrey said that, "Audi is built on being innovative and brave so it didn't take a lot to convince them."

The metrics behind Snapchat and what brands want from the platform in the future:

Snapchat is still in its metrics infancy. For a brand, you can see how many people viewed your Story, how many times your content was screen shotted and how many followers you have. Beyond that there's not much.

"I'm still manually inputting the numbers into a spreadsheet," Lieberman described. While the panelists agreed that those metrics were very helpful they're definitely hoping Snapchat builds out more metrics and analytics for them to judge the success and enable more investment in what they do on the platform. 

You can access the Found Remote hub here. Sign up to receive The Drum's Daily US newsletter. 

Brand of the Day: Boy Scouts of America
Posted on Friday May 22, 2015

Today we feature the Boy Scouts of America (BSA). After years of scandals involving the club turning away adults from volunteering on the basis of homosexuality, the club’s president, Robert M. Gates called for an end to the ban on gay adult leaders.


1) What is BSA?

The Boy Scouts of America is a federally chartered corporation and one of the most popular youth organizations in the country. It boasts almost three million youth members, and about a million adult volunteers. Under the program, young boys are taught everything from outdoor adventure to character building.

2) The History of BSA

The BSA was founded in 1910 by W.D. Boyce. At the time, its mission statement was "to teach [boys] patriotism, courage, self-reliance, and kindred values.” The group’s first sponsor was The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, often referred to as the Mormon Church. By the end of 2014, the group had become one of the nation’s largest charities, boasting a revenue of $1.2bn.

3) Scout’s Honor

Scout’s must say an oath with their membership, and follow a specific law. The oath states: "On my honor, I will do my best, to do my duty, to God and my country, and to obey the Scout Law, to help other people at all times, to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.” The law required members to be “trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent."

4) Treatment of gay males

Strong references to morals and values in the scout’s code has caused trouble for the group. Since its founding in 1910, secular definitions of good morals have changed, though some argue the group’s allowances haven’t.

In 2013, 60 per cent of Boy Scout leaders voted that they could turn members away based on their sexual orientations or preferences. This ruling added to the group’s long-standing ban on gay adult volunteers.

5) Looking forward

Gates’ proposition to lift the ban doesn’t mean that any changes have been made officially. Leaders from across the country will have to vote first.

Gates doesn’t believe that gay volunteers should be allowed because it’s the right thing to do. Rather, he believes that if the ban continues, it could lead to a court case that would rule to lift all discrimination. “We must deal with the world as it is,” he said, “not as we might wish it to be.”


There has been no official word on when BSA will vote to lift the ban.





Dreamers wanted: RKCR/Y&R's Mick Mahoney walks through Johnnie Walker creative idea
Posted on Friday May 22, 2015

Mick Mahoney, executive creative director at RKCR/Y&R, has described the thinking behind 'The Man Who Walked Around the World' campaign for Johnnie Walker, as part of The Drum's Dream Awards.

The latest in a line of creative luminaries to sit down with The Drum's resident psychiatrist, Dr Sarracenia, Mahoney described the vision to come to him to inspire the ad.    

"A man, coming out of the mist, just walks and walks and walks from a speck in the distance. Highlands in the mist, a bagpiper, and he's just getting closer and closer. And the second he goes past the bagpiper, out of the corner of his mouth, he just says 'shut it'."

Dr Sarracenia then prescribes a large glass of malt whisky, three times a day – or as necessary.

The film is part of a wider series created by Lost Boys, featuring creative visionaries discussing the inspiration behind some of their biggest campaigns. The campaign also features photography by the renowned Julian Hanford.

In a world of multiple channels and touch points, the best marketing is still defined by big ideas. With this in mind, The Drum has launched its Dream Awards. Judged by leading industry figures including BBH London deputy executive creative director Rosie Arnold, Guy Duncan, global creative director at Coca-Cola, and Beattie McGuinness Bungay founder Trevor Beattie, the awards will recognise creativity across a number of categories, covering numerous sectors, verticals and channels.

The deadline for the Dream Awards is Friday 19 June. To find out more and enter the awards visit the dedicated website.

Frédéric Fekkai latest to face P&G’s brand chopping block
Posted on Friday May 22, 2015

Proctor & Gamble (P&G) has sold its Frédéric Fekkai luxury hair care brand and salons as it ramps up the pace on its brand cull as part of a wider plan to streamline the business.

The FMCG-giant warned last year that at least 100 brands could face the axe. Shortly after it sold leading battery brand Duracell.

The Frédéric Fekkai brand was purchased in a joint venture between Designer Parfums and LUXE Brands. It will see the group rebranded under the name Fekkai Brands, LLC. T

The founder, Frédéric Fekkai, will retain his role as adviser and brand architect at the flagship salon on 5th Avenue in New York.

"We are excited to be working with the extraordinary talent of Frédéric Fekkai and the Fekkai brand to optimize and further develop his brand of world class and innovative hair care products," said Designer Parfums chief Dilesh Mehta.

The Fekkai business comprises a range of hair products and seven salons in New York, Connecticut, Florida, Texas and California. Approximately 225 people are currently employed in the salon business; they are expected to transfer to the newly formed entity.

P&G has declined to comment on the sale price. A P&G spokesman told the WSJ that the sale is in line with the company’s broader plan to shed noncore brands to better focus on core beauty brands, such as Pantene and Head & Shoulders.

People on the move: Hires and departures at Unilever, Thorntons, Kik and more
Posted on Friday May 22, 2015

This week has seen another wave of appointments and departures at brands, media owners and agencies. The Drum has rounded up the key hires below.


Unilever has named Graeme Pitkethly, its current UK executive vice-president, as its new chief financial officer.

Pitkethly will succeed Jean-Marc Huët who has held the position since 2010.


Thorntons has announced that its chief executive officer, Jonathan Hart, is to resign from his directorship and role as chief executive officer with effect from 27 June.

No further detail was forthcoming on the management change but Thorntons has appointed Barry Bloomer, currently serving as chief operating officer, as chief executive on an interim basis.


Messaging service Kik has appointed Josh Jacobs, former chief executive of Omnicom Group's programmatic trading desk Accuen, as its president of services.

While Kik already offers promoted chats, it is hoped that Jacobs will help build brand partnerships.

Jacobs will also be tasked with spearheading the opening of Kik’s Los Angeles office

Endemol Shine

Endemol Shine UK has bolstered the digital team at its multi-channel network (MCN) ChannelFlip, as two of its directors are set to resign.

Jules Fuller, currently commercial executive producer at Endemol Shine, has been appointed creative director, whilst Caroline Reik, head of branded partnerships, has been promoted to director of branded content. 

In addition Riyad Barmania has been promoted to content director, while the MCN's current creative director Jamie Lennox and commercial director Matt Rook will step down from their roles early in the summer.


Kevin Crull, who previously served as president and chief executive officer of Bell Media, has been named chief marketing officer at Sprint.

In this role, he will be tasked with attracting new customers and advancing the company’s push for more innovation. He will also be responsible for all digital and social efforts.


Wunderman UK has hired Lauren Pleydell-Pearce as creative director in a boost to its creative offering.

Pleydell-Pearce, former design director at Fabric, will work across the agency’s range of clients assisting on content, digital and social projects.

Whilst at Fabric Pleydell-Pearce was part of the team behind KFC's 'It doesn’t count if...' social media campaign, which won a British Arrows Gold in 2013. 

David & Goliath

David & Goliath (D&G) has revamped its creative team with 12 new hires, including three creative directors: Brandon Davis, Nick Hine, and Rick Utzinger.

Other hires include art directors, copywriters, and an associate creative director.

Previously Davis freelanced in New York and worked at Wieden + Kennedy. Hine served as a global executive creative director at TBWA\Chiat\Day. Utzinger was also at TBWA\Chiat\Day where he served as a creative director.

Partners + Napier NYC

Creative agency Partners + Napier NYC (PNYC) has appointed Ted Florea, who formerly served as head of brand strategy at Droga5, as its first chief strategy officer.

In this role, he will be responsible for the strategic leadership of all existing PNYC business, which includes the Outdoor Advertising Association of America and ShopKeep.

According to his LinkedIn profile, Florea served as a freelance brand strategy consultant prior to joining PNYC. Before that, he spent three years as head of brand strategy at Droga5.


MEC has hired former AppNexus solutions engineer Martin Beauchamp as its first head of programmatic strategy as the agency looks to ramp up its expertise in the sector.

Beauchamp spent two years at AppNexus where he led new business in EMEA.

He joins the data team which is led by David Fletcher, chief data officer at MEC, and has been tasked with helping clients understand and adapt programmatic technologies.


Digital experience agency Siteworx has promoted president Ken Quaglio to chief executive officer and founder Tim McLaughlin to board chairman.

Quaglio joined Siteworx as president and chief creative officer last summer to oversee direction, growth, and long-term profitability. Through his career, he has held senior positions at firms including Ernst & Young and EDS.

The Market Creative

Retail and brand agency The Market Creative has strengthened its creative, account handling and business development teams with six new appointments following a strong start to the year.

Jeff Dillon has been appointed as senior art director, and is joined by Stuart Keates, who has been appointed as a creative artworker.

In addition, Nikita Lewis has taken the position of business development manager to grow the agency’s retail and brand portfolio, whilst Shaun Watson takes an account manager role and James Kay has been appointed as an account manager for Grafton Merchanting GB. 

Cultura United

Holding company MDC Partners has teamed up with one of its agencies, Doner, to launch Cultura United Agency.

The new multicultural agency aims to bring together “specialized full-service advertising and public relations expertise with deep insights across Hispanic, African American and Asian audiences,” according to a statement.

Based in Los Angeles, Cultura United will be led by Anita Albán Gastelum. Previously, she was on the executive leadership team at IPG’s multicultural agency Axis.


DLKW Lowe has appointed Anna Vogt to the newly created role of head of planning.

Previously strategy director and partner at BBH London, Vogt has a strong track record in digital product and service innovation and a portfolio that has been creatively, commercially and culturally awarded.

The appointment comes as DLKW Lowe continues to build on its growth and integrated account offering.


Ensighten has appointed industry veteran Ian Woolley to lead its growing EMEA team.

Woolley has almost 20 years of experience in the industry and joins Ensighten following his role as chief commercial officer at Visual DNA. 

His appointment follows a succession of senior hires this year, including Jerome Cail, who joined Ensighten from Tealium, Lars Schleibach who joined from IBM, and Alexander Gaertner from Adobe.

Want to get your career on the move? Check out The Drum Job page and follow @TheDrumJobs for updates. 

Need to Know – The latest US media & marketing news: YouTube beefs up in-ad purchasing, Disney's mobile initiative & USA Today may ditch print edition
Posted on Friday May 22, 2015

Morning all, here’s a glimpse at all the media and marketing news you should know today.

1. YouTube has beefed up its video ads with side-by-side product listings, reports AdAge. The Google-owned platform has updated TrueView ads so that retailers can use interactive card overlays to include product information, images and links to purchase products.

2. Disney is expanding it's $1bn MyMagic+ program, writes Business Insider. The mobile initiative uses wristbands and an app that allow Disney World visitors to unlock hotel room doors, pay for food and merchandise, and book dinner reservations or ride times. It's currently only available at the brand's flagship resort in Florida but is set to roll out other parks soon.

3. USA Today may cease publishing a daily print edition "within the next five or six years", according to editor in chief David Callaway. AdAge says that the remarks were made on Wednesday during a panel on the 'Future of Media'. If the
daily were to shutter its print edition, it would become the second major US newspaper to go online only
, following the Seattle

4. Mozilla will soon let advertisers target firefox users based on browsing history, according to MediaPost. The tech company's Suggested Titles platform categorizes users based on their recent and frequent browsing history, and then shows users tiles from marketers, including content companies and other publishers, who want to reach specific segments. 

5. Russian authorities have threatened to block Google, Twitter and Facebook if they fail to abide by the country's internet laws, reports the Huffington Post. Media watchdog Roskomnadzor has asked the firms to register bloggers who have more than 3,000 readers a day and remove websites which call for "unsanctioned protests and unrest."

6. Uber is allegedly seeking a $1bn credit line from banks, asserts the Wall Street Journal. About six to seven banks are expected to be part of the move, which could signal an eventual initial public offering for the ride-hailing app.

7. Good news for Back to the Future fans: Christopher Lloyd has reprised his role as Doctor Brown in Lego's latest ad, reports the Verge. The Doc features in the new spot for action-adventure video game Lego Dimensions, which lets fans use real toys in the in a virtual setting.

8. And Hillary Clinton is now on LinkedIn, notes Yahoo. As any good job applicant would, the presidential candidate has created a profile on the site so that voters can get to know her work history and qualifications

Stay in the media and marketing news loop at and to receive The Drum's US Daily Newsletter sign up here.

Essence, Critical Mass, and iProspect among Recommended Agency Register digital awards finalists
Posted on Friday May 22, 2015

Recommended Agency Register (RAR) has announced the finalists for its digital awards, with Essence, iCrossing, Salmon, iProspect and Critical Mass among those to make the coveted shortlist.

RAR is an agency search and selection specialist and the Digital Awards recognise agencies big and small providing digital services to the highest standards, as voted by clients.

The awards – which launched for the first time last year – include categories for performance covering client service, effectiveness, strategic thinking, and creativity as well as service categories covering, search, social, design and build.

Commenting on the awards, Steve Antoniewicz, managing director RAR, said: “These are the only awards for digital agencies based on performance as told by clients, so it's a great achievement to be in this group.

"The standard across the shortlisted agencies is very high which means this year's digital awards will be very competitive."

The RAR Digital Awards will be held on 18 June in the Radisson Blu Portman in London. A full list of nominations will be live on RAR later today (22 May). 

Double digit growth sees European online ad market top €30bn
Posted on Friday May 22, 2015

The European online ad market has marked a new milestone after figures published by IAB Europe showed it had reached a value of €30.7bn, an 11.6 per cent increase on the year before.

This marks a doubling of the total market in just five years with all 27 European markets enjoying positive growth, according to the AdEx Benchmark 2014.

Star performers this year came from Central and Eastern Europe where the sector registered gains of 13.8 per cent as the region benefitted from improved broadband infrastructure, though from a low base. In absolute terms it was left to the big three of the France, Germany and the UK to give the continent a lift, accounting for 58.8 per cent of the total market between them.

Report author Eleni Marouli, a senior analyst at HIS, said: "The rise of mobile and video is a reflection of the investment and innovation of the online advertising industry to meet advertiser needs, not just a reaction to shifts in consumption trends.”

Drilling down into the figures the report noted that mobile now accounts for 17.7 per cent of the total display market having grown by 72.5 per cent since 2013, with online video advertising now accounting for 15.1 per cent of the display market.

First tests for YouTube’s in ad shopping tool show Sephora drove 80% boost in consideration
Posted on Friday May 22, 2015

Google has introduced TrueView Shopping on YouTube, allowing advertisers to display and link through to products alongside or within their video ads.

Is has been built on the back of the cards platform it announced last month, which allows brands to overlay additional information, related videos, playlists, and website links within their video ads.

Now, viewers can also click to purchase directly from the video ad.

“And since we know that 50 per cent of views on YouTube come from mobile devices, we’ve made sure that it works seamlessly across mobile phones, desktops, and tablets,” said Google in a blogpost announcing the tool.

Google claims early tests in the US have seen strong results for driving interest and sales.

Online home goods retailer Wayfair noted 3x revenue increase per impression served when compared to previous campaigns while beauty retailer Sephora saw an 80 per cent lift in consideration and 54 per cent lift in ad recall, and an average view time of nearly two minutes.

No UK retailers have participated in the tests. The tool rolled out globally yesterday (21 May). 

Football League to bring Wembley to Piccadilly Circus during Play-Off weekend
Posted on Friday May 22, 2015

Bank holiday shoppers won’t have to miss a minute of this year’s Sky Bet Championship Play-Off Final action at Wembley, widely regarded as the most lucrative football match on the planet, as the Football League has launched an innovative promotional campaign that will see live score updates posted on digital advertising space around London, including the iconic screens at Piccadilly Circus.

The live score updates are part of the League’s broader #DontMissIt campaign, which has been created to promote all of the Sky Bet Play-Off Finals taking place this Bank holiday weekend to an audience not usually reached by sports governing bodies. The activity is expected to reach an estimated footfall audience of two million people across the week.

The Sky Bet League One, League Two and Championship Play-Off Finals culminate this Bank Holiday Monday when Sky Bet Championship sides Middlesbrough and Norwich meet for the right to play in The Premier League next season. The match is estimated to be worth at least £120m to the winning club, making it the richest domestic clash in world football.

The Football League has worked with agency Bamboo Marketing Communications to create and deliver the activity and the #DontMissIt campaign marks the first time The Football League has promoted the Play-Off Finals to a wider audience in this way, and is the latest in a series of innovative marketing activities it has undertaken to promote its events at Wembley.

Commenting on the activity, Drew Barrand, marketing director at The Football League said: “We wanted to take the drama and excitement of this weekend’s Sky Bet Play-Off Finals to as many people as possible and what better way than to provide live score updates through one of the world’s most iconic and high-profile advertising spaces.

“The Football League is fully focused on finding new and innovative ways to enable more and more people to enjoy our competitions.”

Activity taking place includes a Sky Bet Play-Off Final countdown clock on the famous Piccadilly Circus screens in the build up to the Bank Holiday weekend, supported by creative advertising on 40 digital sites located across London. Alongside this, print adverts will feature in both City AM and Sport magazine.

For each of the three match days, half time and full time score updates will be displayed at Piccadilly Circus, with full live score updates provided for Monday’s showpiece Sky Bet Championship  Play-Off Final. The winning team each day will be rewarded with a message of congratulations put up on the screens across London.

The advertising inventory will be supported by online archive content of classic Play-Off Final matches and moments.