Day 5 in New York

By Johanna McDowell

The day was dominated by Dentsu and IPG.

Dentsu West is the agency network outside of the Far East. They have a dot in Africa – Mozambique. But otherwise they are everywhere and growing fast.

IPG of course has several networks including McCann, Draft FCB and Lowe as well as their media agencies, PR networks and specialists like RG/A and HUGE.

Michael Roth, IPG CEO, and ( in my view) one of the smoothest and smartest men in advertising, spoke to 40 search consultants with respect and confidence.  He attributes the success of his group’s turnaround to his top team. A man from Brooklyn, he talks and walks diversity. He in fact is probably the only holding company CEO to embrace this. Refreshing and stimulating.

Advertising Age gave us some early results of their 2011 survey on client agency relationships which we will share with our IAS subscribers in November.

A fabulous week. Business is good and if Michael Roth says there will be no double-dip, I believe him. And why not?

Day 4 in NY

By : Johanna McDowell

Day 4 has been an interesting day. First stop was Lowe & Partners. They are rejuvenating themselves. Impressive work presented and enjoyed by all. Draft FCB was next. A highlight is their work for Nivea for which they are justifiably proud. We then met Sid Lee. Canadian born agency, global micro network. Excellent work for adidas, Dell and Cirque du Soleil. An agency to watch. Last night we met with Sapient Nitro and had a superb evening. Tonight is the Ad Forum dinner and all of the agencies have come to meet us at Bell, Book & Candle. Excellent restaurant. All of this would not be possible without the precise organising skills of Wendy Kleinman who has been organising this Summit for Ad Forum for many years. Wendy – you rock! Johanna

An excellent morning with McCann Worldgroup.

By : Johanna McDowell

An excellent morning with McCann Worldgroup. We met with the McCann group leaders as well the individual agencies. MRM, Momentum and McCann Humancare (healthcare).

The group has some fantastic clients whose relationships with the agency date back many years.

They have reinvented themselves and have remembered their history of reinvention which is part of McCann DNA.

Time off for good behaviour this pm. Off to Sapient Nitro for an evening meeting followed by dinner at Per Se, New York’s finest restaurant.


AdForum Worldwide Summit : Day two in NYC

NEW YORK: Five agencies, one workshop and an update on mobile marketing made day two, Tuesday, 11 October 2011, a hectic one this week. A highlight was Johannes Leonardo, a conceptual agency – new style and intriguing. Delighted that the one partner, Jan Jacobs, is a South African. It is the first start-up ever to be backed by the legendary Sir Martin Sorrell.

Brooklyn Brothers another highlight. Big thinkers, highly strategic and creative. Some brilliant case studies demonstrating integration across all media types and disciplines.

We seem to be seeing the emergence of hybrid shops which can conceptualise at top level and then supply content across all types of channels and networks. The leaders of these agencies sit and collaborate at the boardroom tables of Fortune 500 CEOs and their companies. And then they advise and implement.

Our questions as consultants revolve around the growth of these hybrids and their long-term sustainability.

But it is all fascinating in terms of industry growth and development and where we want to see agencies as key influencers.

Ended the long day with Euro RSCG launching its book of Creative Business Ideas at the Grammercy Hotel.

Day one in NYC

By: Johanna McDowell

NEW YORK: Monday, 10 October 2011: a mixed day of new, reinvented and old-style agencies. A great start to the week, although we did not pace ourselves, thanks to the spectacular dinner organised by JWT.

Fabulous venue, great presentations, wonderful food and stimulating conversation. We will all be too tired for day two.

Day one agencies:

  • DDB specialist youth market agency Uproar impressed with its knowledge of youth and all things young, games, trends etc.
  • 72&Sunny – a big ideas integrated agency. Offices in LA and Amsterdam. An agency to watch.
  • Possible Worldwide – born digital, merger of several WPP sub brands. Interesting case studies.
  • JWT delighted us with its work and its style. A brilliant end to a packed first day.


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