Movers & Shakers: Burger King, Coca-Cola, Facebook, TikTok, and more

This week’s agency news, people on the move, tech and media must-reads.

Agency news

Avocados From Mexico tapped GSD&M as its agency of record. The company partnered with GSD&M for years on its Super Bowl ads before switching to Energy BBDO in 2018. 

Inspire Brands, the owner of Arby’s, Buffalo Wild Wings and Dunkin’, picked Publicis Groupe as its media agency of record. Publicis will service the account with a bespoke team called Inspire Media Engine.

The Washington Football Team selected Code and Theory as agency partner as it kicks off its  rebranding, including picking a permanent team name.

You & Mr Jones' Gravity Road launched a gaming and esports marketing practice out of its New York City office.

TBWA\Chiat\Day LA was named AOR for three clients: Behr paint, Moderna and Schwan's Company. The agency also hired Jennifer Payne as DE&I lead and Caleb Jensen as ECD.

On the move 

Gatorade tapped Kalen Thornton, former VP of Nike men’s North America, as its CMO, replacing Andrew Hartshorn.

WW (formerly Weight Watchers) hired Invision exec Stepen Gates as SVP of omnichannel product design. 

R/GA appointed Ashish Prashar global chief marketing officer.

W2O tapped Postmates exec Stephanie Garcia as chief people officer. 

McKinney hired Chandra Guinn as executive director of diversity, equity and inclusion. 

Havas Creative North America hired MSL’s former SVP Bria Bryant as head of communications.

Channel Factory promoted chief commercial officer Jed Hartman to president, and appointed Amobee exec Jeremy Haft chief revenue officer. 

Thrive Global exec Joshua Weaver was named the Trevor Project’s first-ever VP of marketing. 

Jeremy Miller was promoted to EVP, global chief marketing and communications officer at McCann Worldgroup

Gupta Media hired Pat Arnold as creative director and Dylan Hackley as it’s first-ever director of marketing communications.

Adswerve tapped Omnicom exec Tracy Tobin as the company’s first chief people officer to lead employee growth and development. 

Design agency HUSH appointed Doberman and Reaktor veteran Michael Burkin as  director of growth.

Direct marketing agency Belardi Wong added 14 new employees. 

Video intelligence platform Tubular Labs named former Macromill CEO Scott Ernst as CEO. 

Brand Buzz

Uber bought Drizzly for $1.1 billion, and Burger King is testing a new rewards-based loyalty program through the company’s digital platforms. Speaking of food, Popeye’s added its first fish sandwich to its menu. 

TikTok and Universal Music Group signed a global licensing deal giving the social media platform access to Universal’s catalogue of artists.

Vans introduced a creator-focused livestream broadcast channel called “Channel 66.”

The New York Times reached 7.5 million print and digital subscriptions in 2020 as Q4 ad sales declined by 26% compared to the prior year.

For good

Facebook gave $120 million in ad credits to health agencies in support of their COVID-19 vaccination campaigns. 

Ten independent advertising agencies united to create Building Leaders and Creators (BLAC), an eight-week, paid, remote internship program for Black creatives. 

Procter & Gamble will sponsor the inaugural class, who will work on P&G brand and advertising assignments.

Coca-Cola is introducing a 13.2-ounce recyclable bottle made of 100% recycled plastic material. 

Comcast’s RISE Investment Fund will award $5 million in grants to BIPOC-owned small businesses.

SheaMoisture launched a $1 million investment program in support of Black men.

BBH New York will host Bam Burner, a global discussion about Black-owned small businesses, on Feb. 12. BBH NY president Amani Duncan will host the virtual panel featuring special guest Wyclef Jean.

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