*I hear that a couple of the agencies have dropped off the Morrisons pitch list, including the WPP representatives. This could be due to the competing attractions of Aldi and the Co-op, both also reviewing, or the way Morrisons handles these things. Something for Morrisons to look at.
*WPP’s GroupM has bought The Exchange Lab, which is a programmatic something or other and owns some valuable software called Proteus. The Exchange Lab will be rolled into a GroupM digital operation called Connect. Again I have no idea what this does.
Connect global CEO Rudiger Wanck says that GroupM became familiar with The Exchange Lab in the spring when it rebranded vits digital operation from Interaction to Connect. He says that the shop fits very well with GroupM’s overall ambition of “optimizing media across every property and technology and do it in an agnostic way and continue to build and grow that.” You couldn’t make this stuff up.
The Exchange Lab employs about 130 people in London, New York, Chicago, Singapore and Toronto. Clients include Virgin Holidays, Volkswagen, Glasses Direct and Vue Entertainment. Last year its revenue was $32m.
*Andy Jones (left), CEO of Interpublic’s Mediabrands in the UK, is leaving the company after 30 years, a pretty impressive stint. Mediabrands Europe boss Jim Hytner is taking over in the meantime.
I knew about this story two days ago but forgot about it, so sorry to my sources.
IPG, which owns UM, Initiative and OOH specialist Rapport, has a big media problem the UK and Europe. It doesn’t seem to be able to compete with WPP, Omnicom and Publcis Groupe (which has problems of its own). These days big media holding companies need to offer clients fixed price deals, risky and painful if you can’t deliver them. But that’s the game and IPG doesn’t seem to have the money, or stomach, for the fight.
*In the UK at least, many companies are already closing down for the Christmas/New Year holidays. We’ll still be here, of course, although markedly less voluble from December 25-28. This is the time of year when agencies and others get rid of unwanted CEOs and the like (that’s the game) and more junior staff (which is not playing the game at all).
But a few thank you’s are in order.
To our esteemed contributors (in no special order) Matt Williams, Giles Keeble, Paul Simons, Matt Charlton, Jerry Judge, Michael Lee, Neil Christie (yes, it’s you Neil), Simon Hakim and last, but never least, that force of nature George Parker. If I’ve forgotten anybody, punish me. And Eddie Kremanis who provides tecchie wonders on a daily basis.
And to some, at least, in the PR business who are, mostly, useful. Except when their juniors ring me to inquire why I haven’t run a story which appeared somewhere else the day before.
So thanks to Jane Austin and her team at Persuasion (Jane also provides riveting annual contributions from Cannes) and also to Jo Sensini at Velvet.
Agency PRs also play a big role of course. Kim Ball at Ogilvy Paris deserves a shout. Rose Wilkinson at CHI&Partners has set new (high) standards in this tricky trade.