Tagged: CEO

Maurice Lévy Will Be Succeeded by Arthur Sadoun as Publicis Chairman and CEO

Publicis Groupe announced today that Arthur Sadoun will become the holding company's next chairman and CEO, effective June 1. Sadoun will take over the role from Maurice Lévy.

Lévy, 74, has been with the holding company since 1971 and took on the role of chairman and CEO in 1987. Under Lévy's management Publicis Groupe made a number of big moves in the industry including the $3.7 billion acquisition of SapientNitro and a massive restructuring of the holding company announced in December 2015. He also attempted to engineer a merger with Omnicom Group, but that fell through. 

According to a press release, Lévy made the selection of Sadoun, 44, along with the network's nominating committee and Elisabeth Badinter, the chairman of the supervisory board and president of the nominating committee. The committee began its process to find a successor for Lévy in November. 

"First of all, I'd like to congratulate Arthur," Lévy said in a statement. "I am extremely happy with this choice, which is the most appropriate and judicious for the future of our Groupe, and congratulate Arthur warmly … I have known Arthur for many years. We have worked very closely together. He is a seasoned professional with an inspiring vision of our industry and of our clients' needs. He knows them well, he understands them well, and he knows how to deliver the solutions and services they need to grow, develop and transform by selecting the best talent. He has the intelligence, the energy and the passion necessary to master our trade in a connected world that is changing and evolving constantly."

Sadoun has long been considered a potential candidate to take over Lévy's role, but became a clearer choice in recent months following the restructuring of Publicis Groupe in December 2015. At the time, Sadoun was named CEO of Publicis Communications which is comprised of the network's creative agencies including Saatchi & Saatchi, Leo Burnett and BBH.  

"Leading the company founded by visionary Marcel Bleustein-Blanchet and made into a global communications leader by Maurice Lévy is an immense honor and an incredible challenge," Sadoun said in a statement. "A challenge that I'll meet with open arms, thanks to the continued contribution of Maurice's wisdom and experience, and the support of Steve King, the Management Board and the talented individuals who make up Publicis Groupe." 

Sadoun made a relatively quick rise to the top at Publicis Groupe, kicking off his career there in 2006 as CEO of Publicis Conseil. He was named global CEO of Publicis Worldwide in 2013 and added a leadership position at MSL Group to his responsibilities in 2015.

Along with the news of a successor for Lévy, Publicis Groupe also announced that Steve King will join the network's management board. King currently serves at CEO of Publicis Media.

Article originally appeared on Adweek Advertising & Branding: Link.

Dippin’ Dots Ice Cream Responds to Years of Twitter Insults From Sean Spicer

Brands everywhere are cringing at the prospect of nasty—or even friendly—tweets coming their way from Donald Trump. But it's incoming press secretary Sean Spicer who's been waging a weird war on an ice cream brand for almost seven years.

In April 2010, Spicer mysteriously took aim at the Paducah, Kentucky, company—in particular, its advertising slogan, "The ice cream of the future."

As the A.V. Club reported this week, it was unclear what provoked Spicer. But the following year, again apparently out of the blue, he repeated his claim. 

Six weeks after that tweet, Spicer rejoiced at the news that Dippin' Dots had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Continuing his obsession with the brand's slogan, he appeared to improvise his own headline for the Wall Street Journal story he linked to, cleverly calling Dippin' Dots the "ice cream of the past." 

Four years went by, and it seemed like Spicer was over it. But no—here he is bashing Dippin' Dots again in 2015, apparently due to a shortage of the stuff at a Washington Nationals game. (This tweet, oddly, seems to combine his chronic hatred of the stuff with a weird yearning for it when it isn't around. Or maybe his kids just love it.)

With Spicer front and center in the news this week, his tweets have finally gotten the attention of Dippin' Dots CEO Scott Fischer, who posted an "open letter" on its website, asking Spicer for a truce.

Fischer wrote:

Dear Sean,

We understand that ice cream is a serious matter. And running out of your favorite flavor can feel like a national emergency! We've seen your tweets and would like to be friends rather than foes. After all, we believe in connecting the dots.

As you may or may not know, Dippin' Dots are made in Kentucky by hundreds of hard working Americans in the heartland of our great country. As a company, we're doing great. We've enjoyed double-digit growth in sales for the past three years. That means we're creating jobs and opportunities. We hear that's on your agenda too.

We can even afford to treat the White House and press corps to an ice cream social. What do you say? We'll make sure there's plenty of all your favorite flavors.

Yours,
Scott, CEO of Dippin' Dots

Late Monday night, Spicer replied to the Dippin' Dots tweet. He appears open to mending fences with Dippin' Dots, but only if the brand helps out America's veterans in the process. 

Is this a trap? More on this strange story as it develops. 

Article originally appeared on Adweek Advertising & Branding: Link.

72andSunny Promotes Strategy Lead Matt Jarvis to CEO

72andSunny has promoted partner, chief strategy officer Matt Jarvis to chief executive officer, a role held by co-founder John Boiler since 2012.

Boiler and co-founder Glenn Cole will move into positions as creative chairmen, tasked with setting global creative vision and standards for the agency and driving innovation. Jarvis will partner with chief operating officer Evin Shutt, chief talent officer Sedef Onar and chief development officer Tom Johnstone in leading the agency.

Jarvis told Adweek that this organizational shift has been in the works for some time.

"John, Glenn and I have always been a triumvirate and that's not changing. This is a case of a realignment within our partnership," he said, adding that the changes place each of the three in a role where they can make the largest impact on the agency's business.

Jarvis joined 72andSunny in 2007 and brought with him a resume that included time spent serving as president of Justice Telecom and director of account planning for Deutsch. Since his arrival, the agency has expanded its client roster to include Seventh Generation, Instagram, Comcast Xfinity, Axe Unilever, Ciroc Vodka and, most recently, General Mills.

"We've always been a strategy first organization," Jarvis said. "Our unity between strategy and creative has always been a part of our secret sauce. The fact that I come from a strategy background [and have been promoted to CEO] is less about elevating strategy within the organization and more about recognizing how strategy can be applied to anything and hopefully make it better."

"Matt has always been more than a chief strategy officer," Boiler said in a statement. "He's taken accountability for everything from creative development, to finances, brand management, commercial relationships—all of it."

"Our partnership has always been a little weird for this industry," added Cole. "We have always shared the offices of chief executive, chief strategist, and chief creative, and we'll continue to retain that partnership of unanimity. But Matt's contributions over the years have really outstripped the title and role of chief strategy officer. He is our CEO."

Jarvis says he foresees 72andSunny doubling down on its "aggressive innovation agency" in the years to come.

"For a company whose mantra is 'Born modern,' that puts the onus of changing and evolving along with culture on us. I think we can all agree business culture, culture at large is evolving," he said, adding that the agency will continue to "embrace change, using disruption to create opportunity."

Article originally appeared on Adweek Advertising & Branding: Link.

It’s Time Marketers Rethink Their Commitment to Content

Eighty-six percent of B-to-C marketers in a recent study say they will be including content marketing in their budgets this year. That makes plenty of sense because it's no secret that as consumer attention scatters across channels, devices, times and places, simply hammering people over the head with paid advertising is becoming harder to do.

Adam Kleinberg

The word "content" means something is more than an ad. Content implies value—perhaps utility, education, empowerment or entertainment. Regardless, content is powerful for brands because a value exchange is at play.

The more value brands put in, the more value they get out—in currencies of attention, intention, loyalty, and ultimately, sales.

Of course, content has very little value if it sucks. In fact, if your content marketing is lousy, it can actually hurt your brand.

Doing content marketing well requires commitment on many levels. The same Content Marketing Institute (CMI) study mentioned above shows that 90 percent of the organizations deemed "most successful" were characterized as "extremely committed" to content marketing. That's compared to 37 percent of such commitment from organizations classified as "least successful."

"We're committed," you might be saying, "We've allocated budget and a team to getting this done."

Good on you. However, there are a number of dimensions of commitment that need to be attained to maintain a content marketing operation that delivers high value for your customers and your brand.

Commitment to Insight
It is trite to say, "quality matters," but what kind of content actually is good content? Too often the output of content marketing programs is a fire hose of crap across every imaginable channel that people don't actually want.

To create something people want, you need to invest time and effort to understand them. Maybe you achieve this through traditional research methods. Maybe with digital tools that mine trends in search or social. If you don't have insight, you're likely to flop.

Traction, the agency I run, creates content for Lenovo for an IT audience buying computers and servers en masse. When we talked to customers, we learned that IT guys loved to tell war stories about the users they serve in their jobs. Content like a music video of IT guys rapping about users helped Lenovo's engagement metrics with content soar by nearly 400 percent over previous benchmarks.

This even holds true if your content is something simple like recipes. You can settle for playing an SEO game, or you can use insight to give people a reason to seek out your recipes over the deluge of others out there competing for the same keywords.

Last Thanksgiving, I went to Weber's website—like I do every year at that time. Google has 154,000 results for the phrase "BBQ turkey," but I go to Weber every year because they understand that I'm not messing around when it comes to my bird. Their recipes tell me the exact number of coals I need to add every hour to cook my bird using the indirect grilling method.

They get my needs, so they get my attention.

Commitment to Patience
One of the overwhelming responses in the CMI study was that only half of respondents felt that they were given enough time by executive leadership to produce content marketing results. This is a symptom of a larger problem where intense pressure for short-term ROI on every marketing dollar has created far too great a focus on "digital" as a direct-response channel.

Banner ads, for example, are better at driving awareness than sales, but are primarily used by marketers for the latter because you can't put a tracking pixel on your customer's brain to measure awareness. "Content" is perceived as "digital," so it must be a revenue-driver too, the thinking goes.

Good CMOs, however, know that long-term brand building creates equity. Good CMOs are also good at helping CEOs understand why they are doing what they are doing. Often, meaningful results take time to deliver. If you're not committed to accepting that fact, you run the risk of driving results that are not meaningful.

Commitment to Working Differently
Agencies are fond of saying that the work would be faster, cheaper and better if it weren't for clients.

This is not because clients are bad people. It's simply because the traditional back-and-forth process of getting ideas developed, presented, refined, re-presented, refined again, approved, produced, tested and then finally launched is time-consuming and expensive. Clients and their partners need to be committed to embracing processes to get great work out the door without noodling it to death.

Mike Trigg, COO at creative collaboration vendor Hightail, hit the nail on the head when he said, "I'm always amazed at marketing organizations that spend thousands of dollars on agencies to produce content and thousands more to distribute that content, yet don't have any system in place to get that content through the creative process efficiently. Without a simple, unified solution for creative review and approval, your content will be weak, your results will be lackluster, and your creative team will get burnt out."

Commitment to Activation
Many marketers have been seduced by this "brands have to be publishers" mentality and choose quantity over quality when it comes to content. As a result their process winds up looking something like: produce, spray, pray, repeat.

If your conversation begins with, "I need a piece of content for ___," you're probably doing it wrong. What does your customer need?

Instead of just creating a flood of assets, do less stuff better and invest more time in thinking through how to activate that content. Just publishing for the sake of publishing isn't enough. What a marketing tragedy it is when a great piece of content fails to make an impact because it wasn't activated thoughtfully!

Don't make that mistake. Less can be more.

Abe Lincoln once wrote, "… your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other one thing." Commitment matters. A lot.

Just make sure you are committed to the right things.

Adam Kleinberg (twitter: @adamkleinberg) is CEO of Traction, a digital agency based in San Francisco. 

Article originally appeared on Adweek Advertising & Branding: Link.