Quantum Brief

Storyboard18 Insider: Memes over portfolio, an over-the-top founder celebrity and an unusual trade

By  Storyboard18Mar 28, 2023 5:52 PM
Storyboard18 Insider:  Memes over portfolio, an over-the-top founder celebrity and an unusual trade
Catch all the inside industry stories and hot gossip on Storyboard18. (Representative Image: Birmingham Museums Trust via Unsplash)

From whispers in agency corridors and pitch-room chatter to what's buzzing on clients' side, we've got the overheard and untold stories of the advertising industry and its people.

An unexpected crash

Turmoil continues at a home-grown social platform. There have been senior exits for a few months. Now, we hear that the multi-deals they made with brands are also being withdrawn. There are also rumours that a few senior executives from the company allegedly indulged in kickbacks. Does this story sound familiar to the deterioration of a major ad network? Oops! Did we spill too many beans?

Problem of plenty

Senior marketers and researchers are joining advertising agencies. We hear that many senior marketers from slow-growing categories are aggressively looking at joining agencies in advisory roles and CXO levels. There are also new agency CXOs who have come from different sides of the business. Most of these appointments are happening based on old friendships, is what we hear. However, we wonder what agencies will do with so many CXOs. As they say, too many cooks...

An unusual trade

Rumours are that a fintech player asked an ad network, that they are closely associated with, for an interesting deal. The deal, we hear, is to invest on the platform and bring in a certain percentage of advertising revenue for the fintech. The ad network didn’t commit to any such request. Taking advantage of the situation, a rival ad network has sealed the deal, said an insider. Business shuffles happen often in the advertising business. However, it looks like these days certain marketers have too many requests beyond the usual performance indicators.

Kaun banega celebrity?

Corporate head honchos and startup founders have all sorts of ambitions these days. They are reality TV stars, creators, celebrity authors and influencers on social media, devoting more and more time to cultivate their personal brands. Or, to be precise, now paying agencies to build their personal brands and create inspirational content. We hear one CXO even fancies himself a Steve Jobs of his industry (in this case, auto). Another has proclaimed he is not a celebrity founder and has no such ambitions, in a recent interview, but his close associates tend to disagree. They tell us there are divas in every industry. The latter used his skills of persuasion and clout to bring a particular creative to work on his campaign and, despite the reluctance of the team, they did.

Memes over portfolio

The times they are a-changin'. There was a time when portfolio was the most sacred thing in an agency professional's arsenal, embodying an amalgamation of all the work and ideas that are still to see the light of day. But now things are a bit different, for some at least. A senior creative chief of a global network agency no longer asks for portfolios from candidates he meets during recruitment meetings. Instead, he has intense conversations about trends, LinkedIn posts, memes and we're told, cryptocurrencies. They tell us the adman does this to gauge the realness of candidates as agency folks are looking to hire young people who have points of view about everything and anything. But we can't help but wonder if the said adman also wants to be in with the crowd and crypto kings.

Is newness bad news?

There are rumours that a legacy ad agency has plans of shutting one of its regional offices. It was one of the most active markets for the agency until a few years ago, and the hub had a solid team that stuck together through thick and thin. Since the coming of a fairly new CEO, the agency is moving towards a completely different direction and some long-term employees are not able to connect with all the newness. If true, this is the end of an era.

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First Published on Mar 24, 2023 9:03 AM