AdAge/BBDO’s Unfortunate Timing/Placement Scenarios

By Matt Van Hoven 

Sometimes in the normal process of life, we (as in, everyone including you) notice little occurrences that are unfortunate, awkward. Whether it’s a poorly timed announcement regarding senior executive payouts or an awkwardly placed story about a marketing magnate, these little ditties make the world go round. We begin with Omnicom.

Scenario 1
Yesterday word spread of the BBDO Detroit’s impending demise. The agency’s relationship with Chrysler mid-dissolution, BBDO and Omnicom had a choice to make, and that decision leaves Detroit with one fewer major ad agency as of January 29, 2010. Just a week earlier, the Wall Street Journal reported that pensions for executives appear to be on the rise. Included are BBDO Worldwide CEO Andrew Robertson, who according to BNET’s reporting, will take home $2.5 million plus $425,000 annually for 15 years if he is terminated “for cause”. Is ‘losing Chrysler’ qualification enough? If I’m sitting in Detroit, brooding about where to move my family, I’m thinking “fuck. this.”


Scenario 2
The second of our scenarios is less nefarious, but pinpoints something about traditional media and marketing and how we rank these things. To see this one you need nothing more than this week’s print edition of AdAge.

Headlining the glossy is Hyundai, which the publication made ‘Marketer of the Year,’ and for good reason. Hyundai has made gains in the automotive landscape thanks in part to Goodby and making the right play at the right time. We’re speaking of course about the Hyundai Assurance Program, which when tied with a marketing push aimed at elevating the once-sold-on-price brand to a luxury competitor (though it’s not really there yet), has helped the brand grow leaps and bounds.

A story directly beneath ‘Hyundai’, entitled ‘GM, Kellogg, Nestlé beat to the tweet as squatters take over Twitter names’ delves into the issue of brand hijacking on Twitter. The lead tells an anecdote pertaining to one particular brand that’s having issues obtaining rights to its Twitter namesake: Hyundai. Seems @Hyundai belongs to someone else, and Twitter has been withholding as far as giving the name back to Hyundai is concerned.

Though Twitter is just one aspect of the marketing landscape, and though we would never suggest AdAge withdraw Hyundai from the running, it’s worth noting the rather odd placement of this story. It falls into the “one of those things” categories that means absolutely nothing. Well, it means Hyundai and Goodby weren’t proactive in the four years that Twitter has been marginally well-known.

More: Things That Will Make You Go ‘Hunh?’