In the pitch room
Sam’s Club handed VMLY&R its AOR account following a competitive review led by consultancy SRI.
Con Edison dropped Havas as its creative and media agency after three years and is expected to appoint a new agency in March. Prudential is also seeking a new agency after handling its advertising internally for more than a decade.
Mike’s Hard Lemonade named WorkInProgress as its creative agency of record.
The Kraken Rum tapped Eleven as its agency of record. Eleven also hired Michael de Wit as creative director and Ruben Martinez as senior designer.
Fiverr is developing a platform to connect agencies and brands with freelancers, following its acquisition of creative freelance platform Working Not Working. The initiative will be led by the CMO Advisory Board and the Creative Council.
The&Partnership is opening a new Los Angeles office, which will also house its media agency m/SIX.
Digital marketing firm Jellyfish acquired five global media companies: Seelk, Splash, Quill, Data Runs Deep and Webedia Brand Services.The goal is to focus on ecommerce, creative tech, content creation and gamification.
On the move
Publicis New York tapped Erica Roberts as its new chief creative officer. Roberts previously served as executive creative director for PSOne.
Octagon named Azher Ahmed as executive vice president and head of digital, where he will develop digital marketing, social content, esports partnerships, paid and organic media, and influencer campaigns, among other duties.
State Street appointed Theresa McLaughlin as the firm’s new global CMO McLaughlin joins fromTD Bank Financial Group, where she served as global chief marketing, customer experience & corporate citizenship officer.
IHOP named hospitality vet Kieran Donahue as its new chief marketing officer. Donahue previously worked in marketing at Hilton Enterprise and Marriott International.
BEN tapped Quibi, Disney and Condé Nast exec Pauline Malcolm-Thornton as SVP of client development for its product placement team.
YML hired Salesforce vet Shannon Walters for the new position of group creative director in Redwood City, California, and promoted Joe Johnston to the new position of group creative director at YML in Atlanta.
Brainlabs named Jeremy Cornfeldt, formerly U.S. CEO of iProspect, as chief executive for its U.S. operations.
600 & Rising co-founder Nathan Young will become head of strategy for Deloitte Digital in Chicago.
R/GA NY promoted Shannon Washington and Erin Lynch to co-lead creative, reporting to global CCO Tiffany Rolfe and global chief experience officer Ben Williams.
Contextual data company Zefr appointed Target and Bed Bath & Beyond exec Kristi Argyilan to its board of directors.
LiveArea named Rashmi Sethi as group creative director and head of the company’s Innovation Lab and Creative Studio.
Atlanta-based agency Blue Sky appointed 22squared vet Annette Sally as EVP.
Doner Partners Network (DPN) appointed Jack Morton Worldwide vet Jeb Blatt chief growth officer.
The IAB named Carryl Pierre-Drews as SVP of marketing and communications and Jeff Murray as VP of public policy.
The Basement hired Conrad Edwards as CEO. The role was previously held by co-founder Brian Phillips, who along with co-founder Jacob Leffler, will become directors.
Gorilla Glue sales surged after the story of Tessica Brown, a woman who used the adhesive in place of hair spray, went viral.
The chicken sandwich wars continue. Popeyes’ trolled McDonald’s chicken sandwich launch by buying misspelled URLs for a special site that grants customers early access to the new menu item, . betting that people might misspell McDonald’s URL.
LVMH has taken a 50% stake in Armand de Brignac, tJay-Z’s champagne brand.
Shake Shack announced a new year-long chef collaboration series, “Now Serving,” featuring renowned chefs putting their spin on a Shake Shack’s menu and serving it to people in their community. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to a local nonprofit of the chef’s choosing.
Swarovski rolled out a rebrand and store redesign, including a fresh new take on its signature swan logo, created in collaboration with General Idea.
TikTok announced a multi-year partnership with the Portland Timbers and Portland Thorns FC, its first sport and jersey sponsorship.
Entertainment company Fandom acquired gaming e-commerce platform Fanatical.
The Cherokee Nation called on Jeep to stop naming its vehicles after the Native American tribe.
Kim Crawford Wines partnered with nonprofit Black Girl Ventures Foundation (BGV) to support female entrepreneurs in a virtual pitch competition.
Twitter is committing to the 25×25 pledge, an initiative led by the Silicon Valley Leadership Group to fill 25% of executive roles with underrepresented groups by 2025 or increase the number of underrepresented individuals in leadership roles by 25%.
The BrandLab, Best Buy, UnitedHealth Group’s Optum and Wunderman Thompson teamed up to create a paid, diversity fellowship, which offers 16 individuals a paid rotation within the companies’ Midwest and Essence organizations.
Vice Media Group and the National Urban League launched Black+, an initiative that will offer 12 Black-owned businesses pro bono marketing, creative services, mentorship and business consultation throughout 2021.
Foot Locker released its five-year diversity and inclusion plan, which includes a $200 million investment in scholarships for entry-level employees through a partnership with the United Negro College Fund.