Quicken Loans founder and billionaire businessman Dan Gilbert has apologized for an ad encouraging the public to “see Detroit like we do.” The only problem? Detroit is more than 80 percent black, and the ad features zero African-Americans. Gilbert said his company “screwed up badly” and that the campaign has been suspended.
The 20-year-old ad agency with super-posh offices in Cherry Creek once boasted The North Face, Aspen Skiing Co., Sports Authority, Oakley and Callaway Golf as clients. The big names are gone, and now the agency has left several magazines with unpaid bills and raised the ire of media outlets and at least one company that paid Factory to place ads.
In January 2015, I returned to Factory and partnered with Bob Reimer to lead a critical restructuring of the agency. Given the very difficult financial situation at that time, Bob and I identified two unimaginable choices for our strategy: file bankruptcy or fight to keep the doors open. With considerable pause we decided, as a company, to choose the more difficult road — continuing our commitments to our clients and our staff, and to the extent possible, make good on our historical debts.
During this process we have had to trim our staff, restructure the management team, radically reduce expenses, and generally create a new company that’s very different from our past.”
Brilliant Media Strategies, a new Denver-based advertising, branding and marketing agency, has officially launched. Brilliant is the result of the combination of Bradley Reid + Associates and Stage 2 Studios.
Brilliant’s principals include Rick Wright, vice president of Client Services; John Tracy and Debbie Reinwand, founding partners; John Conn, president of Broadcast Services; Tina Lindgren, executive vice president; and David Board, director of Interactive Services.
Ford is playing defense this week after this spec ad featuring a caricature of former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi at the wheel of a Ford Figo with three women bound and gagged in the car’s cargo bay appeared in India. The tagline: “Leave your worries behind with Figo’s extra-large boot.”
With 123456789101112 13 women claiming extramarital affairs with Tiger Woods, it was only a matter of time before someone channeled their inner 8-year-old and took a crack at updating Woods’ logo. Ji Lee does the honors:
Did Denver’s Vail Resorts threaten to pull its advertising from Ski Magazine after the publication blogged about the death of a 14-year-old girl on one of its slopes? The New York Times reports it did.
T-Mobile wins the “Ad of the Week” award for its commercial featuring both Yusuf Islam (a.k.a. Cat Stevens), who called for author Salman Rushdie’s death for writing The Satanic Verses, and Whoopi Goldberg, who argued that director Roman Polanski’s guilty plea to statutory rape charges shouldn’t be pursued because the then-44-year-old Polanksi’s sexual encounter with a 13-year-old girl wasn’t really “rape-rape.”
UPDATE: The Denver Egotist has a link to a minute-long television commercial based on the same concept.
SECOND UPDATE: WWF and DDB Brasil now say the ad was approved by “inexperienced” executives on both sides, and that the ad ran once in a small Sao Paulo newspaper. We all know that mistakes hurt but that it is the cover-ups that kill you, so we’ll see how long this story lasts.
Public schools are learning what companies such as Coca-Cola, Apple and P&G have known for decades … public relations and advertising work. The Wall Street Journal profiles a few – including Denver Public Schools – that are jumping on the marketing bandwagon.
Boulder- and Miami-based ad agency Crispin Porter + Bogusky announced plans to lay off about 60 employees, or nearly 7 percent of its workforce, due to “the current economic climate (and) advertising budgets (that) are being reduced in virtually every industry.” It is not clear how many of the firm’s 500 Boulder-based employees might be involved.
Carmichael Lynch Spong’s Matt Wagner joined CU-Boulder professor Susan Jung Grant and Sukle Advertising & Design’s Mike Sukle to analyze the Super Bowl commercials for the Denver Post. Elsewhere, the Denver Egotist has the details on which commercials scored highest with viewers.
The New Denver Ad Club wants you to serve as an advertising referee this Super Bowl Sunday. Your ticket gets you free food and one free drink, and children under 12 get all the free tap beer they can drink. Wait, that can’t be right. Better check the NDAC site for the details.
Times seem good for Cactus. The 40-person Denver advertising agency, which touts that it has doubled its revenue in the last two years and is approaching $20 million in client billings, has just named Michael Martelon COO. Martelon is a Denver native whose experience includes working with the Islands Of The Bahamas, Sheraton Hotels & Resorts, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, Caesars Entertainment and MacWorld Conference & Expo.