ICYMI... Campaign's key stories of summer 2021

Clockwise from top left: Tiffany, Other, JWT, Paralympics
Clockwise from top left: Tiffany, Other, JWT, Paralympics

As many of you return to work after a well-earned break, Campaign rounds up the most popular articles from the last six weeks of 'summer'.

JWT sex discrimination case

Two senior creatives claimed they were ousted from J Walter Thompson as part of a diversity drive, so they took the firm to an employment tribunal – it ruled that they were discriminated against “because of their sex”.

Some of the media coverage surrounding the case was condemned as as “unacceptable”, with Creative Equals and Bloom among the ad industry organisations that made complaints to IPSO.

Wunderman Thompson global creative director Jo Wallace, who was targeted by the tabloids after the case, received death threats and blasted the MailOnline's coverage.

Agency groups bounce back in Q2

WPP posted the strongest organic growth of the big six agency groups in the first half of 2021, according to an analysis of financial results by CampaignUK-based WPP posted 11% like-for-like growth in H1, closely followed by Interpublic (10.6%), Omnicom (10%) and Publicis Groupe (9.7%).

In the second quarter, the big six all showed extremely strong organic growth as a result of a dire Q2 2020. Omnicom led by some way with growth of 24.4%, although it also posted by far the worst decline of the six in Q2 2020 at -24.7%. Interpublic grew 19.8% (versus -9.9% a year earlier), followed by WPP at 19.3% (-15.1%). Publicis grew by 17.1% (-13%), Havas by 15.8% (-18.3%) and Dentsu by 15% (-17.3%).

MullenLowe wins back Covid-19 work

MullenLowe Group was reappointed to the creative account for the UK government’s Covid-19 public information campaigns, four months after the agency’s original contract expired, with no plans in place to follow it.

Mother faces legal action from Other

Other Creative, a London business that has been in operation since 1996 and trades as Other, filed a claim in the High Court against the parent company of Mother London, over its use of the name “Other” for the spin-off shop launched last October.

£100m Engine auction begins

In July, Engine’s owner formally started the process through which it hopes to sell its UK independent agency group. Lake Capital could sell the divisions – creative, communication and transform – separately, although a single deal has not been ruled out.

"Just what are investors being asked to pay for in Engine's 'auction'?" asked Kev Chesters, strategy partner at Harbour.

Tiffany campaign's not-so-sparkling reaction 

LVMH's latest campaign for Tiffany was "vapid, unoriginal and insulting" – the view of The Ad Contrarian Bob Hoffman. He went on to say that "if you'd asked a high-school advertising class to come up with a campaign to 'youthify' the Tiffany brand, this is exactly the shit they'd come up with". Read the rest of his column here.

Zenith scoops expanded Nestlé media remit

Nestlé retained Zenith on its £63m UK and Ireland media account and awarded the Publicis Groupe-owned agency an expanded remit following a process that began at the start of 2021 and involved competition from UM, Dentsu X and Openmind 

Pernod Ricard hires UK media agency to £10m account

The French-owned wine and spirits giant appointed Manning Gottlieb OMD to its estimated £10m media planning and buying account, after a four-way pitch that kicked off in February.

WPP pulls out of defence of Facebook global media account

Facebook’s relationship with Mindshare looks set to come to an end after the WPP-owned agency pulled out of the tech titan’s global media agency review. Dentsu, which is also an incumbent for Facebook, remained in contention along with Havas Group and Publicis Groupe, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Agency merger creates northern powerhouse

Two Leeds agencies are merging to create a major new operation that plans to have 600 staff within three years. Home, which last year was the second biggest UK regional creative agency by billings, will link up with IMA (formerly Intermarketing), creating a new agency called IMA Home.

‘They’ve nailed it again’: C4 unveils Tokyo Paralympics campaign 

Lauded as "the difficult third album" by Channel 4 itself, its "Super. Human" campaign, launched mid-July, lived up to the exceptionally high standards set by the first two at previous Paralympic Games. Enjoy!

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