Adland in the time of coronavirus: Wendy Clark questions, MAA blasts from the past and adland media

“Out of the frying pan into the fire,” was my off-the-cuff reaction when a colleague told me about Wendy Clark’s departure from Omnicom’s DDB to be CEO of Dentsu Aegis Network (DAN), essentially Dentsu outside home territory Japan.

Usually in business the answer is money and maybe she was made a great offer. But Omnicom was clearly discombobulated with boss John Wren observing it was bad timing, with the virus and all that. Which suggests they didn’t want to lose her despite the embarrassment over DDB’s We Are Unlimited and its failed relationship with McDonald’s.

Is DAN such a great prospect? Senior managers have been leaving in droves since Jerry Buhlmann left last year, Dentsu posted a loss in 2019 and things are hardly likely to be be better in 2020. Dentsu moust have expected a big Olympics boost and that ain’t gonna happen.

Maybe more will emerge.

MAA Blasts from the past

We started these partly as a way to cheer people up in a crisis and compensate for the lack of new campaigns. But the response has been great and we have a fairly long queue (don’t let that put you off.) Your suggestions very welcome (not too self-serving please.)

They also support the case for really good advertising. Laurence Green’s piece today on Sony Bravia discloses that Sony had to build another factory to match demand after Fallon’s brilliant 2005 ‘Balls’ ad. You don’t get this with an ad on Facebook.


Adland media and MAA

We launched a scheme a few weeks ago inviting people to subscribe to MAA with a one-off or regular payment to help ensure that we can stay paywall-free, bringing you what lots of you seem to think is a product that’s diverting, interesting, informative and – just maybe – useful from time to time.

We’re delighted to say that many have responded – so a very big thank you – although our timing in the midst of a global crisis says something about our, um, timing.

But we value this support and so, please, keep it coming. Quite soon we’ll launch a corporate subscription scheme – at strictly arm’s length – which we hope companies will support too.

It’s important that the worlds of advertising, marketing and media have an inquiring and impartial press. Many of our peers must be suffering currently as their business model clearly depends on events and awards, of which, currently, there aren’t any.

Our modest version does not (the corporate Lambo’s still in the factory) – although we might be open to suggestions about an inaugural Crouch End Lions, to take place sometime in the autumn.

BTW On paywalls, why does Google allow such sites onto Google News? It’s pointless and frustrating.

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About Stephen Foster

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Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.

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