Movers & Shakers: Unilever, Amazon, Lowe’s, Pinterest and more

Clip art of diverse business professionals talking.

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

In the Pitch Room

Kohl’s put its media account, held by Publicis Groupe’s Zenith for the past nine years, under review. 

Zola, an online wedding registry and retailer, picked Arts & Letters Co. as lead creative agency on a brand repositioning and re-launch later this year. 

Personal care brand Edgewell, known for brands Schick, Banana Boat and Hawaiian Tropic, tapped Havas Media Group as its media agency of record.

Joan was chosen as the lead creative agency for S&P Global, which provides credit ratings, benchmarks and analytics in the capital and commodity markets.

Agency News

Dentsu merged independent agency Gyro, which it acquired in 2016, with Merkle DWA. Both agencies will become a part of Merkle B2B, a division of Dentsu’s Merkle unit.

Dean & Co., a new full-service creative agency, launched in Orange County, Calif.

Evan Silver and Ryan Ennis launched Reform School, a Los Angeles and New York-based film production studio.

Mauricio Andujar was named a global partner to Vivaldi, an independent business and brand transformation firm. He will be based in Lima, Peru.

Content production company Dolphin Entertainment launched a marketing, consulting and communications agency focused on blockchain, metaverse and Web3 projects.

​​On the Move

Walmart’s U.S. e-commerce exec Casey Carl is leaving.

Wunderman Thompson selected Tony Weber for a new role: chief data officer, North America.

Horizon Media named Latraviette D. Smith-Wilson as chief marketing and equity officer.

Independent creative agency Young & Laramore promoted president and chief strategy officer Tom Denari to CEO. He will take over from Paul Knapp, who will remain chairman of the board.

Beverage brand Clean Cause named rapper Macklemore as an investor and creative director.

Codecademy, an online learning platform for technical skills, named Robin Zucker as its first chief marketing officer.

Observatory promoted Brendan Shields-Shimizu to president and chief operating officer.

Deutsch New York selected Miriam Franklin as EVP, head of integrated production and Melatan Riden as EVP, head of art and design.

Independent agency Walrus tapped Jeff Hale for the new role of head of design.

HS Ad, the global in-house agency for LG Electronics, named John Long as executive creative director. 

Reach Agency hired Jorge Mendoza as director of gaming strategy.

SpotHero, a digital parking marketplace, hired Karen Bartuch, formerly head of brand marketing at Amazon, as VP of brand marketing. 

Oberland welcomed Lisa Topol as managing partner and executive creative director.

Firework, a livestream e-commerce platform, made four executive appointments: Suzanne Strasser Grant is SVP, global head of agency and strategic partnerships; Mark Wurtzel is VP, head of brand solutions; Eva Wang is head of commerce and partnerships; and Steve Stafford is head of retail.

Soundtrack Your Brand, a digital music streaming platform for businesses, tapped Lisa Farris as chief marketing officer.

Erich & Kallman appointed Kati Haberstock as executive head of production and operations and Sarah Holbrook Bolding as director of brands.

Sterling-Rice Group appointed Daniel Carpenter to the new position of managing director, culinary.

Brand Buzz

Trian Fund Management LP, the activist hedge fund run by Nelson Peltz, acquired a stake in Unilever, following a failed bid for consumer healthcare giant GSK. The CPG giant also restructured its business into five units: beauty and well-being, personal care, home care, nutrition and ice cream.

Amazon will open a brick-and-mortar clothing store in Los Angeles later this year. 

Captain Morgan released a special punch bowl to celebrate Super Bowl LVI that clocks in at more than 18 inches and holds four gallons of liquid.

Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream introduced a new Maple Soaked Pancakes flavor.

Shake Shack added a Buffalo Chicken Sandwich and Buffalo Spiced Cheese Fries to its menu.

Singer John Legend is launching a skincare line designed for people of color.

Frank’s RedHot is celebrating the Super Bowl with its first edible NFT and spoof cryptocurrency, “Bonecoin.” Fans can scan images of chicken wing bones to earn “Bonecoin” at Bonecoin.com. The fan with the most “Bonecoin” will win Frank’s RedHotNFT and the eNFT, an edible replica.

Lowe’s will open Petco shops inside a limited number of stores to attract millennials. 

Molson Coors and Coca-Cola released Simply Spiked Lemonade, an alcoholic lemonade drink. 

Trojan launched a Valentine’s Day contest for fans to win a chocolate box filled with condoms, personal lubricant and more.

Adobe and Billie Eilish are inviting fans to design artwork for her upcoming tour. The winner will receive two all expenses paid tickets to the tour, where they will be featured, as well as $10,000 and a one-year Adobe Creative Cloud Membership.

Hormel Chili will reveal the Hormel Chili Cheese Keg, which combines Hormel Chili and cheese inside a half-barrel keg, created in partnership with BBDO Minneapolis.

For Good

Meta partnered with Ciara to support 10 Black, women-owned businesses with six weeks of marketing training, $100,000 worth of ad credits and creative support.

Ibotta is running a Super Bowl promotion for consumers to get six Big Game party items – including pizza, chips, dip and cookies – for 100% cash back. For every frozen pizza offer redeemed, Ibotta is donating $1 dollar to Feeding America, up to $50,000 dollars.

Pinterest expanded its employee fertility benefits to include two cycles of IVF and egg freezing and four weeks of paid leave to parents who experience a loss through a miscarriage at any point in the pregnancy.

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