• Monday, Aug. 17, 2020
Jim Joseph named president of McCann Health North America
Jim Joseph
NEW YORK -- 

Jim Joseph has been appointed president of McCann Health North America. In his new role, Joseph will oversee all North American advertising and promotion agencies in the U.S. and Canada, as well as build and expand the North American growth team. He comes aboard McCann Health at a time when the network in North America has built considerable momentum, performing well over the past year in global award show recognition and new business wins.

Joseph joins McCann Health after eight years at Burson Cohn & Wolfe (BCW) where, while serving as global president, he helped lead the firm’s strategic transformation from traditional public relations to fully integrated marketing communications, including the complex merger of Burson Marsteller with Cohn & Wolfe. His extensive consumer and healthcare experience includes time at Publicis, where among other roles, he served as the managing director at Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness. He started his career in client-side brand management at Johnson & Johnson and Arm & Hammer. Joseph has expertise and has led campaigns in numerous therapeutic areas, including cardiovascular, upper respiratory, HIV, dermatology, women’s health, diabetes, immunizations, and oncology. Throughout his career Joseph has developed a proven track record of leading and managing global brands and agencies for sustained growth and innovation.

John Cahill, global CEO of McCann Health, said of Joseph, “His decades-long industry experience, investment in innovation and talent will help continue the momentum we have been seeing in the region and push us even further towards raising the bar in delivering the best possible work for our clients.”

Joseph shared, “Joining the network during a time of immense recognition and explosive growth in the North American region is incredibly exciting. I look forward to championing both the groundbreaking work that McCann Health produces for our clients, as well as the network’s greatest asset: our employees.”

Joseph has been recognized consistently, both individually as well as part of the agencies he has led, including numerous Best Agency to Work For and Agency of the Year awards, as well as for the Diversity and Inclusion Company of the Year in 2019. Joseph is also the author of the critically acclaimed, award-winning book and blog series “The Experience Effect,” about the impact that a compelling and consistent brand experience can have on customer loyal and business results. He also recently released his latest book titled “The Conscious Marketer.” Joseph serves as an adjunct instructor at New York University, teaching master’s degree courses. He holds an MBA in Marketing and Finance from Columbia University and a BS in Marketing and Communication from Cornell University.

More than 50 percent of McCann Health North America’s clients are now global brands. The region welcomed new clients, such as Sarepta and Bayer Consumer Health, while also expanding AstraZeneca, RB, Janssen, Sanofi, Pfizer, Takeda, Novartis and Vertex businesses across the network. Each of the North American agencies received recognition in high-profile industry awards shows throughout 2019 and 2020, including McCann Health Managed Markets recent Agency of the Year award at the 2020 Med Ad News Manny awards.

  • Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2020
Publicis Groupe Germany hires CCO Dennis May, chief growth officer Christoph Pietsch
Dennis May
DUSSELDORF, Germany -- 

Effective February 2021, Dennis May and Christoph Pietsch will serve, respectively, as chief creative officer and chief growth officer for Publicis Groupe Germany. Based in Dusseldorf, both will report directly to Frank-Peter Lortz, CEO of Publicis Groupe DACH.

May and Pietsch move from Omnicom agency DDB where May was CCO and Pietsch had been chief marketing officer.  

In his CCO role at Publicis Groupe Germany, May will be responsible for the creative direction of its agencies including Digitas Pixelpark and MetaDesign as well as customized Power Of One agency models including iBeauty (L’Oréal) and AXA next (AXA). A special focus of May’s work will be on the further development of Saatchi & Saatchi, the group’s core creative brand, which he will continue to develop together with CEO Christian Rätsch.

Pietsch will drive the business development of all agencies across Publicis Groupe Germany, building on the significant success of Power Of One in the local market to help facilitate more marketing, business and digital transformation for clients. In addition, he will be responsible for the group’s development and communication of new products and services, indispensable to clients.

  • Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2020
Stoopid Buddy Stoodios names Steve Bastien head of Buddy Spots
Steve Bastien
BURBANK, Calif. -- 

Stoopid Buddy Stoodios, the studio founded by Seth Green, John Harvatine IV, Matthew Senreich and Eric Towner, has named advertising veteran Steve Bastien to serve as head of its commercial division, Buddy Spots, which focuses on stop-motion, 2D, puppets and experiential installments.

Bastien, an ad exec with 20+ years’ experience, joins Stoopid Buddy Stoodios from Midnight Oil where he served as group account director. During his career, Bastien has overseen a wide range of accounts, including Disney, Electronic Arts, Microsoft, Netflix, Sony, and Warner Bros.

Bastien will join producer Leigh Kelly in driving the Buddy Spots division forward. Buddy Spots’ body of work includes commercials for Carl’s Jr., Pepperidge Farms and Target. In 2019, the division won a Clio Award for "The Predator Holiday Special," which was created for 20th Century Fox.

Buddy Spots is currently in production on a number of projects, including one for Microsoft Xbox and a new spot for Pepperidge Farms.

Stoopid Buddy Stoodios is home to the longest running stop-motion show on television, the Emmy Award-winning Robot Chicken, as well as the Emmy-nominated SuperMansion with Bryan Cranston. Stoopid Buddy Stoodios is currently in production on season 2 of Crossing Swords, which premiered as part of the Hulu Originals slate earlier this year. The company’s multiple-building campus and state-of-the-art facility located in Burbank is active in live-action, puppetry, stop-motion, 2D and CG animation. Stoopid Buddy Stoodios’ body of work spans the entertainment gamut, ranging from charming hand-crafted animation all the way to high-end live-action feature films.

  • Monday, Aug. 10, 2020
Jayna Kothary joins MRM as global chief technology officer
Jayna Kothary
NEW YORK -- 

Global marketing agency MRM, part of McCann Worldgroup, has brought Jayna Kothary on board as its global chief technology officer. Prior to joining the 35-plus office digital and relationship marketing network, Kothary served as CTO for global clients at WPP, where she was based in the U.K. 

Kate MacNevin, global CEO of MRM, said of Kothary, “Her experience working as an agency CTO on global clients, as well as with large multi-nationals, makes her an ideal fit as we continue to expand our technology, data and e-Commerce capabilities. Technology and data science, along with strategy and creativity, are among our key expertise pillars. And she is joining us at a point when we are at a new peak in terms of integrating all of these capabilities on behalf of our clients.” 

Kothary, who began her career as a management consultant, is a qualified chartered accountant and business strategist. In her most recent role at WPP she partnered with the firm’s largest clients to help them best leverage data, technology and partnerships for business transformation. Prior to WPP, she held technology leadership roles at both Vodafone Group and BP, carrying with her an in-depth knowledge of client needs.

MRM, which this year was designated for the fourth straight year as a “Leader” in Gartner Inc.’s prestigious “Magic Quadrant for Global Marketing Agencies,” has been significantly expanding its data, analytics and technology capabilities over the last few years, both through staffing/training and through operations. It continued to grow its global MRM Commerce capabilities, created and launched four new proprietary data and analytics software programs that generate insights faster and more meaningfully for clients, further leveraged innovative partnerships with Salesforce and Adobe, opened additional international LAB13 innovation labs, and introduced expanded capabilities in Artificial Intelligence (AI) that included registering a number of patents. Additionally, the agency was recently named Agency Of The Year (Midsize) at the 2020 Association of National Advertisers’ (ANA) B2 Awards. 

“Kate and her outstanding team at MRM have been setting the industry bar on how agencies can continue to innovate with technology in ways that can directly benefit client growth initiatives,” said Kothary. “I am thrilled to be able to bring my experience to bear and be a part of the team that has been driving MRM’s impressive growth and performance.”

  • Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2020
Editor Peter Brandt joins Rock Paper Scissors for U.S. representation
Peter Brandt
SANTA MONICA, Calif. -- 

Rock Paper Scissors (RPS) has added editor Peter Brandt to its roster for representation in the U.S. 

Brandt, who had previously been handled by Work, is best known for his anthemic collaborations with A-list Scandinavian directors that include Martin de Thurah, Andreas Nilsson and Adam Hashemi. For his most recent commercial project in the U.S., Brandt reunited with de Thurah on the highly awarded and much celebrated “An Open Mind is the Best Look” for Nordstrom and Droga5 New York. Brandt was also the editor behind Nilsson’s multi-award-winning “Epic Split feat. Jean-Claude Van Damme” for Volvo that swept Cannes with six Grand Prix honors for Forsman & Bodenfors.

“Peter’s range as an editor makes him a perfect addition to the RPS family,” said Angus Wall, founding partner and editor at Rock Paper Scissors. “His exceptional work speaks volumes and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for someone with his level of talent.” 

Eve Kornblum, RPS managing director, described Brandt as “an editor’s editor in every facet of his work. His knack for building narrative and creating emotion is really incredible.”

On joining RPS, Brandt said: “I’ve always been particularly driven by the variation that commercial and feature projects allow me to work on. Rock Paper Scissors is unique in having that outlet built into their structure with MakeMake Entertainment and all of their sister companies. So much of the work I admire comes from the U.S. market, so I’m really eager to expand my relationships with RPS’ amazing partners.”

Having started out editing commercials and music videos in Denmark, Brandt gained acceptance into The National Danish Film School in 2003 which opened up a series of narrative feature opportunities. His first collaboration with director Christoffer Boe on psychological thriller Reconstruction was rewarded with the Camera d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, Best Editor at The Robert Awards and The Young Cinema Award at Venice Film Festival. Brandt continues to work across Scandinavia out of his own Copenhagen-based company, Little Machine.

  • Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2020
Cartel adds editors Valenta, Gilbert, O’Reilly
Kyle Valenta
SANTA MONICA, Calif. -- 

Editorial and postproduction studio Cartel has expanded its roster with the signings of Kyle Valenta and Ernie Gilbert for global representation and Paul O’Reilly for representation in the U.S.

Valenta’s commercial credits include such brands as Nike, Apple, Dodge, The NFL, Guinness, Google, Dick’s and Lime. Known for both his strong visual storytelling and documentary style work, Valenta has collaborated with directors including Henry-Alex Rubin, Chivo Lubezki, Chris Wilcha and Mark Zibert. Valenta cut his teeth in commercial editorial at Wieden+Kennedy’s Joint Editorial in 2006, where he shifted his focus to short-form storytelling following work in feature editorial post-college. He noted, “Early in my career, I worked closely with Lauren Bleiweiss (Cartel EP) who helped me develop as an editor and become more established in the wider commercial market. It was a period of great excitement, and returning to work with Lauren at Cartel feels like being back home.” Valenta returns to Cartel from Work Editorial.

Following two years in “The Lookout,” Cartel’s development track for up-and-coming creative talent, Gilbert has been signed to Cartel’s main editorial roster. Gilbert has edited spots for DirecTV, Fox Sports, Nike Jordan and Banana Republic, and worked with directors including Dave Franco, Hiro Murai and Salomon Ligthelm. Prior to shifting focus to the commercial realm, Gilbert worked as an assistant editor in episodic television on Atlanta, Barry and Baskets, and edited music videos by Childish Gambino, Lizzo, John Legend and Fall Out Boy. Gilbert was nominated for an MTV VMA for Best Editing in 2018 for Childish Gambino’s “This is America,” which won awards for best music video at the VMAs and Grammys. In addition to editorial work, Gilbert is an emerging filmmaker who continues to hone his craft in directing. “Cartel’s empowering team of creatives are driven by a passion for their work. I’m excited to join their main roster to further advance my flair for commercial editorial,” added Gilbert.

O’Reilly is best known for his kinetic and rhythmical editorial style, crafting high-octane, dynamic pieces across advertising and music. O’Reilly has collaborated closely with director Georgia Hudson on spots for Nike, Under Armour, Michelob and O2, as well as high-profile work for Axe, Babbel and the U.K Department of Transport. He has also edited music videos for artists including Run the Jewels, Sam Smith, Chemical Brothers, A$AP Rocky, Ellie Goulding and Billie Eilish. He joins Cartel from STITCH, where he remains on the editorial roster for representation in the U.K. “I have had a longstanding relationship with (Cartel editor/partner) Andy McGraw, and signing with Cartel feels like a strong fit and an exciting opportunity to continue to develop in the U.S. market,” concluded O’Reilly. 

  • Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020
Former Marketer Jim Farley To Become Ford CEO On Oct. 1
In this March 28, 2018 file photo, Jim Farley, executive vice president and president of Global Markets of the Ford Motor Company, is shown in this photo during New York International Auto Show. Farley will lead the storied automaker into the future starting Oct. 1 2020, when current CEO Jim Hackett retires. The company has struggled in recent years and is in the midst of an $11 billion restructuring plan designed to make it leaner and crank out new vehicles to replace what was an aging model lineup. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)
DETROIT (AP) -- 

Jim Farley will lead Ford Motor Co. into the future as the global auto industry faces a new era of autonomous and electric vehicles.

The company named Farley, 58, as its new CEO effective Oct. 1, replacing Jim Hackett, who will retire after three years at the helm. Farley, who has been with Ford for more than a decade, had been chief operating officer since February and clearly was being groomed for the top position.

He faces tough challenges as the industry emerges from the coronavirus pandemic. Ford is losing money and is transitioning from an aging model lineup to new vehicles, including those powered by electricity. It's also in the midst of an $11 billion restructuring plan to cut costs and bureaucracy and make money off its autonomous vehicle unit.

Executive Chairman Bill Ford, the great grandson of founder Henry Ford, said the board briefly discussed looking outside for a CEO, but was inspired by Farley's leadership and felt the company is moving in the right direction. "We talked about it and we did throw some names around," he said on a conference call Tuesday. "Every time we did that, we always felt that Jim Farley rose to the top."

As COO, Farley led the company's global markets and product development. He was in charge as Ford rolled out a revamped F-150 pickup — the country's best-selling vehicle — the new Bronco off-road SUV brand and the electric Mustang Mach-E SUV.

Farley, who was hired away from Toyota by then-CEO Alan Mulally in 2007 to run Ford's marketing operations, said Tuesday that his main goal is for a smooth transition, but he has plans for the future that will be announced later.

The company, he said, would continue on the path set by Hackett, with priorities of reaching a 10% profit margin in North America, seeking immediate material and warranty cost improvements, fixing under-performing businesses, maximizing opportunities in commercial vehicles and outperforming the industry in rolling out new models.

The 117-year-old company, he said, would grow and expand where it is strong, like making the transition from internal combustion engines to electric powered commercial vehicles. It also wants to move more toward digital sales and add revenue from services such as electric vehicle charging and software, he said in an interview. 

Ford has been phasing out most cars in recent years because they didn't make money. But that has left the company without low-priced vehicles. Farley said he wants to change that by using Ford's lower cost structure "to really create a lineup of more affordable products that go below what we offer today, so the brand is approachable and affordable, but do so in a profitable way."

He wouldn't say whether the new vehicles would be cars or SUVs. 

In a nod to the changing auto industry, Farley left out traditional rivals General Motors and Fiat Chrysler when naming Ford's competitors. Instead, he identified them as retail giant Amazon, Chinese search engine Baidu, electric car maker Tesla, iPhone maker Apple, and Japanese automaker Toyota. 

The 65-year-old Hackett took over for the ousted Mark Fields in May of 2017. Almost immediately he began reviewing Ford's management structure and flattened the organization so it could move faster. But his often lengthy directives confused employees who weren't clear on where the company was headed. In 2018, an analyst asked Hackett how much longer he expected to be with the company.

Investors weren't impressed during Hackett's tenure as analysts complained about the slow pace of restructuring. Ford shares lost more than 25% of their value under Hackett, but they closed 2.5% higher at $6.86 on Tuesday. 

Farley said Tuesday he's optimistic about Ford's future as new products arrive and cost cuts take hold. 

Hackett, a retired Steelcase office furniture CEO who had run Ford's mobility efforts, will stay on as an adviser through March. Bill Ford praised Hackett for taking difficult steps to modernize the company, reducing bureaucracy, and preparing it for the future.

"We now have compelling plans for electric and autonomous vehicles, as well as full vehicle connectivity. And we are becoming much more nimble," Ford said. He cited Ford's quick shift to make ventilators, face shields and other protective equipment at the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

Hackett also made the difficult decision to move Ford out of the sedan business in the U.S. as the market shifted dramatically to SUVs and trucks. 

It was apparent that Farley would take over as CEO in February, when Ford announced a management shakeup after a poor fourth-quarter financial performance and the botched launch of the Explorer SUV. 

Farley's chief rival, automotive President Joe Hinrichs was pushed out and retired March 1, and Farley was named COO.

Ford's full-year profit plunged last year by more than $3.6 billion. It lost nearly $2 billion in the first quarter this year, and made just over $1 billion in the second quarter only because of an increase in the value of its autonomous vehicle unit. 

Hackett has said the company fell short of expectations for last year, and he blamed the performance largely on the flubbed launch of the new Explorer at a factory in Chicago.

Morningstar analyst David Whiston said the jury is still out on Hackett's tenure as CEO because his restructuring efforts are still in progress. "If the fitness moves started under him eventually lead to nice free cash flow generation, then history may be kinder to Hackett than his critics have been while he was CEO," Whiston said. 

  • Monday, Aug. 3, 2020
VMLY&R hires Walter Geer as ECD, experience design
Walter Geer
NEW YORK -- 

VMLY&R has appointed Walter Geer as executive creative director, experience design, in its rapidly expanding customer experience practice. Geer will be based out of New York and will work closely with Jason Xenopoulos, CEO of New York and co-CCO of North America. Geer will report to Eric Looney, chief experience design officer who leads the agency’s experience design practice in North America.

Geer will drive the creation of innovative design solutions within VMLY&R’s connected health practice and help lead the transformation of talent and capability across this high-growth group.

With over $100 million in health revenue in 2019, VMLY&R’s health practice is rated among the industry’s top 20 global health agencies. In the long term, Geer will also work to synergize brand and customer experiences across a broader range of clients such as Dell Technologies, Campbell Snacks, Pfizer and New Balance.

Geer joins VMLY&R from TBWA\WorldHealth where he held the position of SVP, group creative director, digital experience and innovation. Recently, Savoy Magazine named him to its list of 2020 Most Influential Black Executives in Corporate America. He is most known in the advertising space for creating compelling mobile advertising experiences that have reinvented and revitalized the way brands and advertisers connect with consumers through a multitude of digital platforms.

A 20-year veteran of the digital advertising space, Geer holds a total of six U.S. patents for digital ad formats, and has developed ad products and implemented creative strategies for a variety of publishers and leading technology and media companies including Google, Viacom, The New York Times and MySpace. Geer has architected market-first usability labs, applying biometric research to the development of creative executions and minimizing risk by understanding how consumer emotions and demographics impact brand engagement.

Prior to TBWA\WorldHealth, Geer was VP and creative director at Verve where he ran design and engineering teams responsible for the company’s creative production and innovation. He joined Verve from PointRoll (Gannett) where he was VP of product strategy.

  • Friday, Jul. 31, 2020
Droga5 London promotes Shelley Smoler to exec creative director
Shelley Smoler
LONDON -- 

Droga5 London has promoted multi-award-winning Shelley Smoler from group creative director to executive creative director.

Smoler will lead the creative department, oversee pitches, and work across all of the agency’s clients, with a specific focus on Amazon. She will also help lead the agency’s approach to its mentorship and diversity programs. She reports into Droga5 London’s chief creative officer David Kolbusz.

Smoler has recently been nominated for an Emmy for her work on Droga5’s Super Bowl commercial “Before Alexa.” At Droga5, she has led Amazon Alexa globally, Amazon Prime in the U.S. and Amazon Prime Video in Europe and the U.K. She was also part of the team that created “Metatronia” for Uniqlo, a performance piece created in collaboration with Solange Knowles and displayed at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles.

Smoler has won over 50 awards, including a D&AD Black Pencil and a Cannes Lions Grand Prix, for her campaign for The Zimbabwean newspaper in South Africa that took on Robert Mugabe’s regime by using the country’s almost worthless bank notes to make billboard ads.

The campaign, created by Smoler and her team while she worked at South African agency TBWA/Hunt/Lascaris/Johannesburg, made history. As well as winning the industry’s most prestigious awards, also including two Grand Clios and the ADC’s first-ever Black Cube, the posters are part of the permanent collection in both the British Museum and the Design Museum.

Smoler first joined Droga5 in 2017 as creative director and was promoted a year later to group creative director. Prior to Droga5, she was a creative director at BBH and worked across the agency’s full client roster, including the Guardian, Audi, Google, Heineken, KFC and Mentos. BBH hired Smoler in 2015 from TBWA/Hunt/Lascaris/Johannesburg where she was creative group head.

Smoler said, “I am lucky enough to be working alongside the nicest, most talented and creatively ambitious group of people on the planet. I’m looking forward to continuing to help grow and shape the creative department and be inspired by them in equal measure.”

Kolbusz shared, “To describe Shelley as “essential as food or drink” would undervalue her contribution and undersell how joyful an experience it is to work with her. She is brilliant, strategic, methodical, thorough, kind, and perhaps most essentially - she has impeccable taste. The agency will be stronger for her leadership.”

  • Wednesday, Jul. 29, 2020
Brenda Fell joins DAVID Miami as exec producer
Brenda Fell
MIAMI -- 

Brenda Fell has returned to DAVID, this time as executive producer in its Miami office. She comes over from Leo Burnett Chicago. Fell had earlier in her career served as head of production at DAVID Buenos Aires. 

Her addition is the latest in a recent infusion of talent at DAVID Miami that has included global chief strategy officer Paula Vampré, sr. copywriter Sarah Dembkowski and sr. art director Georgia Taylor. Fell will work collaboratively alongside EP Carlos Torres and report to managing director Ricardo Honegger.

Fell will co-lead the production department with Torres, overseeing all global clients such as Burger King and Halls. At DAVID’s Buenos Aires office she worked on award-winning campaigns including MACMA’s “Man Boobs,” which raised awareness for breast cancer, and the Unilever campaigns “Speeches” and “Farewell to the Forest.”

Fell left DAVID Buenos Aires in 2017 to move to the U.S. and diversify her experience which now spans experiential, AR/VR content and much more. She had stints not only at Leo Burnett but also at the community. In her 15-year career, Fell has worked at agencies including Ponce Buenos Aires and DDB, shooting all over the world for global brands like Coca-Cola, Verizon and Allstate, among many others. Her work has been honored with the Grand Prix at Cannes Lions, and recognition from the D&AD, The One Show, Clio Awards, London International Awards, and New York Festivals Advertising Awards competitions.

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