Friday Wake-Up Call: CBS’ Leslie Moonves just avoided awkward questions. Plus, Alex Bogusky buzz – Info Advertisement
Welcome to Ad Age’s Wake-Up Call, our daily roundup of advertising, marketing, media and digital news. You can get an audio version of this briefing on your Alexa device. Search for “Ad Age” under “Skills” in the Alexa app. What people are talking about today: CBS took analysts’ questions yesterday about its quarterly earnings, but nobody on the call mentioned the sexual harassment claims against CEO Leslie Moonves. It was an elephant-in-the-room scenario (or, more accurately, an elephant-on-the-conference-call situation.) As Ad Age’s Jeanine Poggi writes, analysts were warned that Moonves and the COO would only talk about the financial results, and none of the analysts asked about CBS’ investigation into the allegations against the CEO. But there were legitimate business questions to raise – like, who might replace Moonves if he has to leave? Also, as Poggi writes,
“If you took a drink every time CBS CEO Leslie Moonves or Chief Operating Officer Joe Ianniello used the word ‘confident’ during the eye network’s earnings call on Thursday afternoon, you’d be somewhere between tipsy and black-out drunk.”
Anyway, second-quarter revenue rose 6% to $3.47 billion, surpassing projections.
Also, oops: CBS Evening News misspelled the name of its CEO when it reported on the harassment claims during the nightly news, The Hollywood Reporter notes. It wrote ‘Mooves’ instead of Moonves.
‘Like Steve Jobs coming back to Apple’
It’s been eight years since Alex Bogusky left Crispin, Porter & Bogusky, the agency he helped transform into a creative powerhouse in the early 2000s. Now he’s going back. Ad Age’s E.J. Schultz and Ann-Christine Diaz checked in on the industry reaction; Anselmo Ramos of independent agency Gut said it was an advertising version of “Steve Jobs coming back to Apple.” Another person (this one unnamed), had a different take: “It’s like Michael Jordan going back to the Wizards,” or an athlete trying to make a comeback past his prime.
Bogusky, 55, had helped CP&G inspire “envy and emulation from the rest of the industry,” as Ad Age’s Megan Graham and E.J. Schultz write. Burger King’s weird and brilliant “Subservient Chicken” was just one of the famous pop culture-influencing campaigns under Bogusky’s watch. But he left in 2010 to work on consumer advocacy and social issues, and he says he’s also been advising and investing in tech startups. Why is he returning? Maybe it’s the challenge. CP&B is no longer in its glory days, and its owner MDC Partners has hit a rough patch.
Random fact: Bogusky has 90,300 Twitter followers, despite having posted only a few times (most recently, about the late, great paint whisperer Bob Ross.)
There can be only one: With Bogusky returning, “Global Chief Creative Officer Linus Karlsson will be departing the agency, just nine months after he joined,” Ad Age’s Ann-Christine Diaz writes.
Also: MDC Partners, which owns agencies CP&B, Anomaly and 72andSunny, says 2018 is still challenging. And it’s looking at selling non-core assets or ones that “might be more valuable in someone else’s hands,” Ad Age’s Megan Graham writes.
Coincidentally: CP&B is in the news for something else, too. Keep reading.
The plot thickens
Who’s running Diet Madison Avenue, the anonymous Instagram account singling out men in the ad industry and accusing them of sexual harassment and misconduct? We might be about to find out, as Ad Age’s Megan Graham writes. It’s because of a move by a judge in Los Angeles. The move stems from a lawsuit by former CP&B Boulder Chief Creative Officer Ralph Watson, who says the anonymous group made defamatory claims against him, leading to the loss of his job. The L.A. Superior Court judge’s order allows Watson’s legal team to serve subpoenas to Instagram, its parent Facebook and Gmail to seek information about who’s running the anonymous account. This could get ugly – and expensive. But as Graham writes,
“Following the lawsuit against it in late May, Diet Madison Avenue launched a GoFundMe page for its legal expenses, with a goal of raising $100,000. As of Thursday, it had raised $1,970.”
On a lighter note
“Alf,” the ’80s TV show about an obnoxious, aardvark-like extra-terrestrial in suburban America, might be getting a reboot. Seriously. According to The Hollywood Reporter, it’s in development at Warner Bros, though there’s no network attached. We know reboots are all the rage right now, but are there really no other ’80s shows left to revive?
At the NBC upfronts in May, Seth Meyers cracked a joke about how there are two kinds of development execs, “ones that develop new ideas and ones that rummage through the storage closet to see if we still have the ‘Alf’ puppet.”
Maybe someone didn’t get his joke.
Help wanted: Facebook is looking for a chief marketing officer, as Ad Age’s Garett Sloane writes. And, well, “this is a challenging job,” says Brian Wieser, senior analyst at Pivotal. “Facebook is not quite the prestige brand it once was, and there is so much worse to come.”
Sold: Warner Music Group bought Uproxx, which runs what it describes as “the premier news and culture platform for the digital generation.” Read more in Variety.
Snooze: Burberry has a new logo, and some people think it’s kind of … meh. The typeface reminds some fashionistas of other luxury logos, like Yves Saint Laurent or Balenciaga. Check it out here.
Bye: Brookstone, seller of gadgets you didn’t know you needed, is filing for bankruptcy protection and closing its 101 stores in U.S. malls, CNBC reports. But take heart: You can still buy its products online and at airport shops. (Anyone need a foot spa? $99 cat ear headphones?)
Podcast of the day: Carla Serrano, CEO of Publicis New York and chief strategy officer of Publicis Communications, talks to Ad Age editor Brian Braiker and reminisces about her early days in advertising (including that time she suggested changing Apple’s “Think Different” tagline. Oops.)
Clarification of the day: “They asked my daughter Ivanka whether or not the media is the enemy of the people,” President Trump tweeted. “She correctly said no. It is the FAKE NEWS, which is a large percentage of the media, that is the enemy of the people!”
Creativity pick of the day: The Nasdaq’s new opening bell sounds “like money being made,” as Ad Age’s Ann-Christine Diaz writes. “The way I think of it, it’s the sound of global commerce,” says Nasdaq Exec VP and Chief Marketing Officer Jeremy Skule. The new sound is the work of sound technology firm Sonos, which had its initial public offering Thursday. Listen to the bells (old and new) right here.
Article Prepared by Ollala Corp