Welcome to First Things First, Adweek’s new daily resource for marketers. We’ll be publishing the content to First Things First on Adweek.com each morning (like this post), but if you prefer that it come straight to your inbox, you can sign up for the email here.
Adweek’s Recognizes Its Media Agency of the Year Honorees
For U.S. Media Agency of the Year UM, Making Cannes-Worthy Movies Is Just Part of the Job
Ever heard of a media agency that makes movies—and not just any movie, but a Cannes winner? In 2018, prompted by longtime client Johnson & Johnson, U.S. Media Agency of the Year UM created a gripping documentary called 5B, which told the story of nurses who were on the frontline of the AIDS epidemic in the early 1980s. For UM’s executives, projects like these help the agency keep pace with a diversity of clients and their ever-changing needs—whatever those needs might be. While UM approaches each client differently, the common thread is the agency’s obsession with “future-proofing” the businesses it works with. Find out how the agency has unlocked growth by investing in itself.
Global Media Agency of the Year OMD Turned a Comeback Into a Formula for Repeatable Success
After suffering a string of client losses in 2016 and 2017, OMD managed a remarkable turnaround in 2018, going from the bottom to the top of COMvergence’s new business rankings over the course of a year. Determined to not rest on its laurels, OMD got to work breaking down silos and establishing centralized leadership teams, “creating a process and unified technology that would democratize knowledge and capabilities” to ensure that “more offices were capable of delivering the same type of service over and over again,” explains OMD Worldwide CEO Florian Adamski. Its next steps were to implement a formula for repeatable success based on its “Better decisions, faster” positioning—and that strategy led to the successes that made it the Global Media Agency of the Year.
How Breakthrough Media Agency Canvas Worldwide Boldly Grew Beyond the Automotive Category
A little over four years ago, Canvas Worldwide dove into an already-competitive media agency landscape as a joint partnership between Innocean and Horizon Media. It had a good head start, opening with baked-in clients like Hyundai, Kia and, later, Genesis, and picking up others over the next few years. In 2019, it really hit its stride, snapping up Heineken (from Publicis) as global media agency of record and being recognized as the fastest-growing media services agency in the U.S. by COMvergence—and it has yet to lose a client. That combination of business performance, strong strategic moves and a culture of inclusion has earned Canvas the title of Adweek’s Breakthrough Media Agency of the Year.
With the Sale of Victoria’s Secret and Les Wexner’s Departure, the Era of L Brands Is Over
It’s the end of an era at Victoria’s Secret—in more ways than one. This week, L Brands made two major announcements: Founder and CEO Les Wexner, who has been in the top job for 57 years, is leaving his post. The other is that the company is selling a 55% stake in its most high-profile holding, Victoria’s Secret, to private equity firm Sycamore Partners. Previously, L Brands counted The Limited, Lane Bryant, Henri Bendel, Abercrombie & Fitch, Express and more as part of its portfolio. With the sale, Bath & Body Works becomes the lone remaining brand under the L Brands umbrella.
New York’s Privacy Bill Failed Last Session—But It Gives Us a Look at What Future Laws Might Look Like
Policy conversations are getting renewed attention following January’s implementation of California’s data privacy legislation, but lawmakers around the country have been at work crafting attempts at comprehensive privacy laws for their own states. In New York, S5642, known as the New York Privacy Act, has been heralded by data privacy advocates as a higher standard of consumer protection—and seen by opponents and industry groups as a new obstacle to publishers and platforms. When the 2019 legislative session ended in June, the NYPA died in committee, but lawmakers held a hearing around it in which experts from around the country testified on the importance and risks of privacy legislation in general.
Amazon Prime Video Brings New York Grindhouse Theater to LA for Hunters
Amazon Studios’ robust marketing push for its new Prime Video original drama series Hunters now includes experiential. The streaming service has opened an interactive fan experience in Los Angeles inspired by the show’s story of a Nazi-hunting group in 1977 New York. Timed to the series’ debut, the five-day Hunters Grindhouse Experience has taken over a city block in northeast L.A., giving local venues like a movie theater and bowling alley a 1970s makeover themed to the show’s setting. Amazon Prime Video worked with brand experience agencies Campfire and The Mill to immerse guests in the world of the show.
Best of the Rest: Today’s Top News and Insights
- New Study Says In-Housing and Consolidation Will Further Impact Agencies in 2020
- Inside the Brand | CMO of Nasdaq Ringing Bells and Moving Markets
- Men’s Journal Lays Staffers Off as It Moves Edit Team to California
- Outdoor Voices, a DTC Athletic Brand, Faces New Headwinds
- Margaret Chu Joins Vox Media as CFO
Ad of the Day: Do Dogs Make the Best Pets? Milk-Bone’s Ads Make the Case
The “Life’s More Fun With A Dog” campaign shines a spotlight on those who fall into the “dog person” category over “cat person” or, say, “tiger person,” “bee person.”
Agencies Share What Efforts Their Workplaces Have Undertaken to Address Climate Change
“When we released our new book, Unusually Brilliant Brands, we produced it using 196 recycled coffee cups instead of your standard paper stock. The book celebrates our 10th anniversary here at Watson & Company, and as we reflect on a decade of our work, we know that sustainable design is imperative as we look to our future. We always challenge our clients to explore sustainability across all mediums, so it’s only fair for our own brand to lead by example.”
—William Richmond-Watson, Founder & Chief Creative Officer, Watson & Company
“Havas Media signed the ‘Moment in Time’ pledge, which states that as a company, we agree that global climate change is an urgent threat to humanity. We pledged to contribute significant resources—in talent and media—to awaken the American public and the world to the crisis and that we promise to engage our employees in solutions we can adopt today, and to push ourselves and our clients to make immediate plans to get to zero emissions. ”
—Colin Kinsella, CEO, Havas Media NA
More of the Latest