In brief: Doors open for women CCOs, LGBT tourists

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In other news: Apple senior PR director exits ... Brands turn on to marijuana ... Rebooting "Brand Japan" ... Can ex-journalists hack branded content? ... P&G to cut agency fees.

From the Campaign family:

Apple senior PR director director exits. (PRWeek) Apple’s senior director of worldwide corporate communications, Natalie Kerris, announced via Twitter that she is leaving the tech giant. Kerris’ departure comes less than a week after Apple named Steve Dowling VP of communications, dropping the interim from his title and making him the official replacement for Katie Cotton, who left the company last year.

Brands should jump the pot bandwagon. (PRWeek) The once-taboo plant is becoming decriminalized and accepted among the general public, opening up a plethora of opportunities for companies and agencies to get involved in the industry. For example, Olivia Mannix and Jennifer DeFalco, cofounders of strategic marketing firm MARCA Strategic, launched cannabis marketing agency Cannabrand last January in Denver. While it is a little scary for brands to link themselves to a substance that is still largely illegal in the US, the benefits outweigh the risks if done right.

Former BP chief addresses Ogilvy Pride: "I wish I had been brave enough to come out earlier." (Campaign UK) Lord Browne discussed his book The Glass Closet, in which he explains that while gay men and women in the Western world enjoy greater acceptance and more legal protection than ever before, an alarming number of businessmen and women choose to remain closeted at work.

Making over Brand Japan. (Campaign Asia-Pacific) When Sony brought out the Walkman in 1979, "Brand Japan" found its definitive manifestation. Product after product strengthened this view. But these images of high tech have become rusty in a decade of Xboxes and iPhones. Flamingo Tokyo's Sven Palys shares his solution.

Around the web:

Women make inroads as CCOs. (Adweek) Six women have been named to creative chief positions — at FCB, Young & Rubicam, Wieden + Kennedy, Ogilvy & Mather and Wunderman — in the past six months, with Y&R, for example, recruiting Leslie Sims from McCann Erickson to become chief creative officer in New York and promoting Pam Mufson to co-executive creative director in Chicago.

Can ex-journalists make the cut with branded content? (Digiday) As the news market has contracted, many journalists have fled for content studios. But is it the right fit? Creating effective branded content requires a specialized, almost paradoxical, set of skills. Not only must the creator write content in a way that is easy-to-read and informative, but they must also answer to people on the business side and take criticism from clients — something that journalists have not traditionally been good at or willing to do.

Indiana's debacle prompts states to welcome LGBT tourists. (Adweek) While Indiana sifts through the ashes of its lost travel and tourism dollars, another part of the story's been unfolding. Destinations across the country are sending the message that LGBT visitors are more than welcome, either by activating new campaigns or simply emphasizing the gay-inclusive marketing already in place. In other words, if you're going to be a gay-friendly destination, now's a pretty good time to show it.

P&G plans to cut agency fees $500 million. (Ad Age) Procter & Gamble Co. plans to cut as much as $500 million from agency fees under a new drive to reduce the number of agencies it works with, Chief Financial Officer Jon Moeller said on the company's earnings call Thursday. "One non-media area that offers significant opportunity is agency spending, which includes fees and production costs of agencies we use for advertising, media, public relations, package design and the development of in-store materials," Mr. Moeller said. "We plan to significantly simplify and reduce the number of agency relationships and the costs associated with the current complexity and inefficiency while upgrading agency capability to improve creative quality and communication effectiveness."

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