Monday Wake-Up Call: VW and Ford's hunt for creative agencies. Plus, brands' bots

Welcome to Ad Age’s Wake-Up Call, our daily roundup of advertising, marketing, media and digital news. What people are talking about today: Two major auto brands, Volkswagen and Ford, have begun reviews of their global creative agencies, meaning that “two coveted auto brands are up for grabs,” as Ad Age’s E.J. Schultz writes. Schultz talked to Jochen Sengpiehl, global chief marketing officer for Volkswagen’s namesake brand, who hopes to cut the number of agencies the brand works with in the way that Procter & Gamble has done. “I think we are almost working with all the agencies around the planet,” Sengpiehl joked. “We want to reduce complexity and we want more consistency.” VW’s major relationships include working with Interpublic’s Deutsch in the U.S, while DDB handles big portions of the business in other markets. Ford, meanwhile, has long partnered with WPP’s Global Team Blue; the review is another pain point for WPP after the sudden departure of CEO Martin Sorrell about a week ago.

‘Nut rage’ and ‘water gate’

Two sisters from the family that runs Korean Air are being removed from their jobs at the conglomerate amid allegations of bad behavior, The New York Times reports. Cho Hyun-min, a Korean Air marketing executive, “was accused of insulting an advertising executive and hurling water in his face during a business meeting,” The Times says. (Which agency? The Korea Times says it was an exec with local firm HS Ad.) The marketer’s meltdown probably wouldn’t have gotten so much attention if her older sister, Cho Hyun-ah, hadn’t made headlines in 2014 for flying into a rage over the way a flight attendant served macadamia nuts; she ordered the plane to return to the gate to have the offending staff member deplane, which led to Cho spending a few months behind bars for breaking air safety rules. After that, though, the elder sister had quietly returned to a job in the family’s conglomerate, The Times says, adding: “The family has become so vilified among South Koreans that people have petitioned to the office of President Moon Jae-in to ban Korean Air from using ‘Korean’ in its name.” Ouch.

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