How Many People Does It Take to Make a Great Ad?

Ad Age has an article this week about how many people it took to make Adidas Originals’ “Original is Never Finished” commercial, winner of Cannes Lion Entertainment for Music Grand Prix. The ad is interesting. We congratulate everyone involved for their creativity and execution. Yet we fundamentally believe truly great advertising/content Continue Reading…

Why Advertising Week Failed in the “Age of Assistance”

My favorite takeaway from Advertising Week thus far is the term, “The Age of Assistance.” It clarifies the important phenomenon that has transformed advertising: from communications that are dependent on interruption…to communications that assist consumers throughout their purchase journey (or entertain or inform them along the way). Of course, the Continue Reading…

The Surprising Evolution of a Client-Centric Agency

What would happen if you tried to create a true client-centric agency today? What services would the agency provide? How would its business evolve? We found out — and the results say a lot about the advertising marketplace today. Two years ago, we set out to create a different kind Continue Reading…

Got a Second

When it comes to display advertising, one second of attention is the new “tougher standard” GroupM (the largest buyer of media for advertisers) requires from publishers/suppliers. Although online advertising viewability rates have been improving, it’s still beyond outrageous that many providers in the digital ecosystem are charging advertisers big money Continue Reading…

Despicable Me?

It’s despicable. The ANA’s recent report is about agency “self-dealing” in production bidding. The ANA’s description is incredibly kind. Rigging bids is dishonest, duplicitous, and should be criminal behavior. This agency practice is on top of the lack of transparency and outright fraud in the media buying process that the ANA helped identify a few Continue Reading…

Do You Have the Magic that Motivates?

27,000 people showed up for a Bernie Sanders rally in New York this week. Hillary Clinton isn’t holding rallies because she isn’t drawing big crowds — so the optics would be bad. Last week, 10,000 people trekked to a Donald Trump rally on Long Island, while Ted Cruz drew only Continue Reading…

Minor Steps. Major Impact.

Years ago, I was brought in to turn around a company. It once was a thriving firm. But times had changed. The marketplace had evolved. The management team adored and trusted one another. They had built the organization together. But their success had bred complacency. Despite the fact that they Continue Reading…

My Birthday Wish

Fortitude

My Mom passed away about six months ago. My Mom and Dad had been together for 73 years. She was the love of my Dad’s life. My Dad is 90 years old now, living on his own for the first time in his life. He and I watched the returns from Continue Reading…

Who Needs a New Agency??

Maybe it’s crazy.  There are more than 120,000 advertising/communications agencies in the USA, and I started another one.  Why?  Who needs it?  Not everybody.  But we’re not for everybody.  Let me explain. Our clients are a select group of C-level executives (often Chairman/CEOs) at mid-sized companies.  Their organizations are too Continue Reading…

My Clients Didn’t Pay Me $65MM

Last week, it was announced that Martin Sorrell, WPP CEO, will receive $65MM in compensation.  Martin is brilliant.  I ran one of his companies.  Still, $65MM is a lot money. Next week, some agency holding companies will be paying millions to participate in Cannes, a creative awards show.  Cannes can Continue Reading…

We Need 7 Billion More

On Friday, I was honored to be a delegate at the United Nations’ Media for Social Impact Summit.  Marketing and media leaders from around the world gathered to discuss how we can help address climate change, eradicate poverty, and achieve equitable economic growth. Here are a few quotes from the Continue Reading…

P&G is Right to Cut its Agency Roster & Fees

Today The Wall Street Journal reported that P&G is cutting the number of agencies it uses and the fees it pays. I’m an agency guy. I run an agency. I’m here to tell you P&G is right. When it comes to producing great marketing communications, less is definitely more.  The Continue Reading…