Agency Brief: Longtime Omnicom executive passes, Pitbull starts a shop with Horizon Media

A quick shameless plug to begin this week’s Agency Brief: if
you haven’t already checked out the winners of
Ad Age’s Small Agency Awards
, drop everything and go do that.
This week, Ad Age celebrates 10 years of the annual awards and
conference designed for the industry’s smaller,
independent, nimbler and scrappier agencies that deserve more love
and attention than they, ahem, typically get from other
publications. The conference, held in New Orleans on Tuesday and
Wednesday, featured speakers including David Droga, who gave

the keynote speech
, plus Sunday Dinner’s Lindsey Slaby,
Badger & Winters’ Madonna Badger, Walrus’ Frances Webster
and Verb’s Shannon Simpson Jones.

The industry says goodbye to an icon
Janet Riccio, executive vice president and dean of Omnicom
University, died on Tuesday at her Manhattan home after a battle
with ALS. A leading voice for female empowerment and equality in
advertising, Riccio started Omniwomen—a global movement comprised
of Omnicom senior leaders who work to promote and support women in
the industry—in 2014. She first joined Omnicom in 2004 as
executive vice president with oversight of some of the holding
company’s largest clients. Riccio succeeded Omnicom CEO and
Chairman John Wren as dean of Omnicom University in 2012. Beginning
her career in the mailroom of a small shop in Fairfield, Conn., she
has held stints at Arnold in Boston and DDB Chicago and was SVP and
international group account director at DDB Worldwide before
joining the larger parent Omnicom network 15 years ago. Outside of
advertising, Riccio co-chaired the board of directors for the New
York Women’s Foundation and was a champion of Project ALS, for
which Omnicom is seeking donations in her honor.

“Janet was an invaluable member of our team since 1998,”
Wren says. “She was relentless in making Omnicom University a
vital learning tool for our key executives and future leaders. She
leaves behind a legacy of generosity and charisma and her passing
marks a significant loss to the Omnicom community.”

Pitbull and Horizon Media launch a new multicultural

Grammy-winning artist Armando Christian Perez, better known by
his stage name Pitbull, teams up with Horizon Media to open a new
full-service multicultural agency called 305 Worldwide. Perez
becomes chief creative officer of the agency, which will be led by
Horizon Media Founder, CEO and President Bill Koenigsberg and
Karina Dobarro, Horizon’s senior vice president and managing
director of multicultural and now chief strategist of 305
Worldwide. The agency will be based in Horizon’s New York
headquarters and Miami, where Pitbull operates his various
businesses and projects. “Short steps, long vision,” Perez says.
“Horizon Media consistently breaks through to multicultural
audiences in innovative ways that have caught my attention.”

Toasting UWG’s 50th year
WPP-backed UWG, which rebranded from UniWorld Group in 2014,
celebrates its 50th anniversary as one of the longest-standing
multicultural agencies in the U.S. Founded by Byron Lewis in 1969
with one account, Smirnoff Vodka, the agency has become a
formidable player in the ad industry, working with brands including
Burger King, Lincoln-Mercury, Mars, the U.S. Marine Corps and Ford
Motor Co. Of note, UWG created Avon’s first TV spot in 1979 and
developed the first campaign for the U.S. Marines that was targeted
to the African American community in 2008. Lewis was inducted into
the Advertising Hall of Fame in 2013.

Finding the right chemistry
Chemistry, an independent agency in Pittsburgh and Atlanta, takes a
majority stake in Pinta, a self-described full-service
cross-cultural agency. The combined network boasts a client roster
of Carnival Cruise Line, H&R Block, Heineken, the NFL and
T-Mobile. With the acquisition, Chemistry expands its footprint to
New York, San Francisco and Nashville. Pinta was founded in 2014
and is an expert in content creation, influencer marketing and
“below-the-line” communications.

Another perfect match
Innocean Worldwide, the Hyundai Motor Company’s global
advertising division that has owned David & Goliath since 2017,
also makes a significant acquisition this week. The network
acquires Australia-based creative and digital production company
Wellcom Group to further expand its footprint. Wellcom is the
parent company of eight subsidiaries in the U.S., Europe and
Asia-Pacific, focusing in digital-creative content production,
social-media strategy and digital-marketing services. The
company’s clients include Tesco, Tempur-Sealy, Telstra,
Victoria’s Secret, The Body Shop, Louis Vuitton and L’Oreal.
“Thanks to Wellcom Group, Innocean’s digital marketing value
chain is now complete,” says Innocean Global CEO Kun-Hee Ahn.
“By maximizing the synergy between the Korean HQ and overseas
operations, we will stand as a truly global-leading company in the
digital transformation era.”

This brewery wants to cash in on the hard-seltzer

Madison, Wis.-based craft brewery Ale Asylum is partnering with
creative and branding agency Planet Propaganda, also of Madison, to
get in on the hard-seltzer trend (Nielsen
hard seltzer sales grew 193 percent in 2019 from 2018).
Launching its own brand of hard seltzer, Stray Forth, Ale Asylum
hires Planet Propaganda to promote the beverage ahead of its Aug. 8
release in Madison-area liquor stores, groceries and bars. The
agency is tasked with developing the product’s full branding and
design story, including naming, logo, packaging design, audience
definition and marketing strategy. Planet Propaganda will remain a
partner to Stray Forth—coming in flavors “Enchant-Mint,
Clairvoyance, Safari and Walkabout”—as it looks to expand
beyond the Madison market.

PMK*BNC and Rogers & Cowen unite
Rogers & Cowen merges with PMK*BNC, creating a new global
agency for talent management, PR and integrated marketing that
spans more than 500 clients, represented by a team of 350 people.
Alan Nierob becomes chairman of the agency’s entertainment
division. Shirley Hughes will be president. Bill Rosenthal becomes
chief operating and financial officer. Brad Cafarelli and Fran
Curtis are both vice chairmen in L.A. and New York, respectively.
The combined entity will unveil a new name in the coming

The wins of the week
Richards/Lerma, a full-service Hispanic-focused agency, has been
selected by Ocean Spray, a maker of dried cranberries and juices,
for its launch into multicultural markets. The agency, through
creative and strategy, is tasked with driving awareness of Ocean
Spray’s products in new consumer segments including younger and
multicultural demographics.

The Gate New York, part of the global Gate Worldwide network,
won the creative and media buying and planning account of online
auto retailer Carsation, following a three-month review. The agency
will also be responsible for a full rebrand of the company
including a new name, identity and communications. The first work
from The Gate New York is expected to debut sometime later this

Some hiring highlights
WPP’s Grey promotes Diego Medvedocky to president of the
network’s Latin America region. Medvedocky is Grey Latin
America’s chief creative officer and president of Grey Argentina,
both roles he retains. Medvedocky joined Grey Argentina as
executive creative director in 2013 and was elevated to chief
creative officer of the Latin America division a year later. Under
his leadership, Grey Argentina has doubled its revenue and clients,
while Grey Latin America was named the Cannes Lions Regional
Network of the Year in 2017 and 2018. “The truth is that I did
not expect this but it makes me very happy,” Medvedocky says.

Interpublic Group’s Campbell Ewald elevates Kari Shimmel to
chief strategy officer. She will oversee a strategy team comprised
of Chris Marchegiani, who becomes group director of brand and
integrated strategy, and Ashok Sharma, who comes to the agency as
group director of integrated content and channel strategy. The team
will be run in Detroit, New York and Los Angeles. Suzanne McGee,
who has been running PR for Campbell Ewald since June, will also be
taking up earned media strategy duties for clients at the agency.
McGee used to lead communications for MullenLowe.

Match Marketing Group, a self-proclaimed consumer engagement
agency operating in the U.S. and Canada, hires Brian Cohen as CEO.
Cohen succeeds Michael Dill, who will be leaving after picking up
the post in 2017 and who says he be will announcing his next move
sometime in 2020. Cohen hails from Epsilon Agency, part of the
data-marketing conglomerate Publicis recently acquired for $4.4
billion, where he was chief operating officer for nearly two

Wavemaker appoints Pedro Laboy as the GroupM network’s chief
precision marketing officer in the U.S. Laboy hails from Critical
Mass where he was chief data and innovation officer. In the new
gig, Laboy will focus on leveraging precision marketing for
Wavemaker’s clients and connecting its audience-planning skills
to search, social, programmatic and commerce. “As marketers shift
to more audience-centric strategies, agencies must enable seamless
connections from audience data and insights to cross-channel
activation and commerce,” says Wavemaker U.S. CEO Amanda Richman,
who Laboy reports to.

FCB New York adds Sy-Jenq Cheng as executive creative director
and head of art, a new role created by Chief Creative Officer Ari
Halper. For the past several years, Cheng was freelancing as a
creative and design director and prior to that was a senior art
director for Wieden & Kennedy London and Amsterdam, working
with clients like Nike.

Creative shop Blue State hires Rob Trono from digital agency
FullSix London as a creative director in the U.K. Trono brought in
clients Pernod Ricard, Nokia and Sainsbury’s while at FullSix. He
also spent six years as a digital creative director for Publicis
Chemistry, leading work for Aviva, Dove and Baileys.

Source: FS – Advertising Blogs !
Agency Brief: Longtime Omnicom executive passes, Pitbull starts a shop with Horizon Media