Kevin Roberts Shows Us All Up To The Tune of $430 Million


Okay, we get it now and boy do we ever feel stupid (“we” as in “this writer,” not “we” as in “Alissa feels stupid also” — Alissa never feels stupid). If you’ve read this here site for a while, you might recall that we’ve put up the occasional negative post about Saatchi & Saatchi’s CEO, Kevin Robert’s book “Lovemarks.” If you’re not familiar with it, it’s basically just common sense arrived at by way of bad clip art and weirdo copy. The basic premise: “You, in advertising, want people to like your client’s products.” Isn’t that amazing?! Well, apparently we weren’t the only ones surprised that the book is actually working, as reported in this audio interview with Jonah Bloom, editor of Ad Age, “How Advertising Age Was Wrong About Kevin Roberts.” In it, you learn about the CEO of JC Penney, Myron Ullman, who likely forced his people to fire their current agency and give their $430 million account to Roberts and Saatchi & Saatchi. Why? Because the CEO read “Lovemarks” and said, “Wow! This makes a lot of sense! I want people to like my products!” And so there you have it. The book isn’t meant for regular people to be taken seriously. Rather, it is for the one-too-many-motivational-poster minds of the powers that be. And who else do ad agencies make their money from? Those advertisers. So tricky! Here’s from the synopsis of the interview:

In a 2005 article about Saatchi & Saatchi CEO Kevin Roberts that echoed widespread sentiment, “Advertising Age” suggested the flamboyant executive was promoting his new book “Lovemarks” instead of focusing on the real business of his agency. But now, that same book has just played a pivotal role in Saatchi’s win of the $430 million JC Penney ad account. In this audio interview about the behind-the-scenes intrigue of that account move, “Ad Age” editor Jonah Bloom concedes that Mr. Roberts may have showed us all a thing or two.