Movers & Shakers: Anheuser-Busch, Groupon, Lay’s, Wheaties, and more

This week’s agency news, people on the move and brand buzz.

In the Pitch Room

Universal McCann retained H&M’s U.S. business as lead media agency.

Liberty Communications selected VMLY&R as its agency of record.

Home furnishings retailer Blu Dot named Colle McVoy as its media agency of record.

Public-Library, an independent design shop, partnered with the Recording Academy and CBS to design the promotional campaign for the 64th annual Grammy Awards.

OOH company Intersection won a 10-year contract with the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) to sell static and digital media throughout Atlanta.

Reckitt hired Vaynermedia as global lead creative agency for its sexual wellness brands.

Agency News

Havas Formula established a midwest regional hub in Chicago and appointed Tara Reid to oversee it.

Commerce agency The Stable acquired Shopify agencies BVA and Zehner. 

McCann Worldgroup launched the first issue of Earn, the agency’s new e-magazine.

Brand and shopper marketing agency Blue Chip released Bloomaze, a new venture that will develop and sell martech products, solutions and platforms.

On the Move

The Hershey Co. promoted Ryan Riess, who created the company’s in-house agency, to VP of brand strategy and creative development. Riess succeeds Jill Baskin, who is retiring after four years.

Instacart president Carolyn Everson is leaving the company at the end of 2021 after just four months on the job.

Prime Video Marketing selected Leo Macias as vice president of marketing and global activation.

Reddit tapped RJ Pauloski as its first country manager for Canada.

TBWA\Chiat\Day New York appointed Amy Ferguson to chief creative officer.

Mediahub promoted Drew Watson to global chief growth officer.

Joan Creative hired Abe Baginsky for the new role of executive creative director. And McKinney hired Suz Keen as group creative director. 

Johannes Leonardo selected Steve Zaroff as chief strategy officer.

Tom Naughton joined 72andSunny New York as executive strategy director.

Arts & Letters Creative Co. hired Adrienne Daniel as executive producer and John Gibson as group strategy director. 

Canvas United tapped BBDO vet Mark Lainas as president. He will also serve as chief innovation officer of the United Collective, of which Canvas is a part. 

Camp + King promoted Garrett DeLorm to director of production.

R/GA appointed Melissa Jackson Parsey as VP, managing director of its brand design and consulting practice. Augustus Cook was named executive creative director to support brand strategy, brand design, and innovation consulting.

Mekanism managing director Jake Sugarman joined Odysseus Arms as partner to business development.

Utah-based Struck named Brett Watts chief creative officer, Scott Sorenson executive creative director and promoted Tosh Brown and Matt Manes to creative directors.

David&Goliath tapped Brett Terblanche as group creative director and art director, and Luiz Vicente Simoes as group creative director and copywriter. 

Jason Tsai joined search intelligence company Captify as chief marketing officer.

Allied Global Marketing, an entertainment, culture and lifestyle marketing agency, hired Jose Leon as managing director of Latin America. 

Brand action agency MKG selected Matthew Conley and Tricia Desjardins as head of production and executive creative director, respectively.

Marketing agency Aisle Rocket tapped Steve Slivka as chief experience officer.

Mediaocean named David Berkowitz as SVP of corporate marketing and communications.

Brand Buzz

Anheuser-Busch InBev pulled Travis Scott’s hard seltzer brand, Cacti, from shelves following the Astroworld controversy. 

Prime Video teamed up with Los Angeles-based chocolatier Compartés to create a limited-edition chocolate bar inspired by Lucille Ball, in honor of the upcoming film Being The Ricardos.

Lay’s released a limited-edition vodka, created from a blend of Portland Potato Vodka and vodka distilled from Lay’s potatoes.

Indeed partnered with pop singer Mika to host virtual hiring events at each stop of his North American tour for fans to apply for positions and network. 

Forever21 launched inside JCPenney locations. 

Bacardi will launch its “Winter Summerland” holiday campaign in New York City’s Times Square on December 18. The event will include a billboard takeover, flash mob and a Stop-and-Shop Merch Truck selling limited-edition merch, including the new capsule collection with Aviator Nation. 

Groupon is celebrating Groupon Day, a one-day sale featuring 30% off local experiences, on December 17. Fans can also win experiences with celebs including a private virtual cooking class with Martha Stewart, a private master class and lunch with celebrity makeup artist Ariel Tejada, and a tattoo session and lunch with Miami Ink star Chris Garver. 

Wheaties is celebrating its 100th anniversary with a limited-edition box featuring Michael Jordan, who first appeared on the cereal in 1988. 

Hard seltzer brand Vizzy will give travelers whose flight is delayed between December 21 and 23, an $8 gift card for a free can of Vizzy at the airport

Dating app BLK launched a series of digital holiday cards, created in collaboration with multidisciplinary artist Lo Harris.

For Good

Creative production agency Hook gave its entire staff four weeks off for the holiday season. 

Target partnered with multimedia platform Revolt for “Bet on Black,” a pitch show for Black entrepreneurs. 

WMcCann and Shutterstock launched the mentorship program Re_Modelar to help 12 photographers in Brazil produce exclusive content dedicated to highlighting Black people as protagonists in advertising. 

The Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) created Social Justice Center (SJC), a program to increase opportunity and social equity for the BIPOC community in the fashion/creative industries. Founding partners PVH Corp., Capri Holdings Limited, and Tapestry, Inc. each committed $1 million to help launch the center. G-III Apparel Group also made the first donation to the SJC Scholarship Fund, which has reached more than $1.5 million in contributions.

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