Friday, April 30, 2021


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I had an idea the other day that I can't shake.

Because I work largely on my own, or because I largely work on my own, or because I'm large and work on my own, I try to be hard on my own ideas.

Before I tell them to anyone, I spend a lot of time and a lot of synapses trying to shoot them down. After a lifetime in the business--and a modicum of success--I still fear coming across as a fool. Really, who doesn't?

In any event, going through LinkedIn the other morning, and Twitter, and Facebook, and seeing the pyroclastic explosion of banality from all three of those social networks, I tripped upon an idea for a new type of agency.

This new type would be diametrically different from every other agency that ever was. And that giant difference would be captured immediately and communicated in an instant by its name:


It's not that the people in the agency would actually have mouth-ectomies, it's that we wouldn't, under any circumstances, allow any talking whatsoever.

If you were a creative, your Mouthless job would be to write down or design the crap most agencies spend four weeks till four in the morning talking about.

If you were account, you'd have listened to the client and created a brief or a way to sell the work and written it down on a piece of paper. Preferably a piece of paper the size of an index card.

Same with media.

Same with planning.

The lip-flapping would stop.

Mouths would be persona non grata.

In fact, since Mouthless is my creation, I'd have one simple rule. You couldn't go home at night until you handed me a sheet of paper or two with all the things you thought of that day.

Not vagaries. "Like I was thinking this could be cutty." But real bona fide ideas based on real information and insights. So, someone might write something that said, "No one knows what the client does, so I explained it here in seven words." Or, "I made a diagram so a small business could see how easy it is to accept payments by QR codes."

On Sunday, Bob Hoffman, the Ad Contrarian, sent me an email. Based on the fact that Bob and I have eaten pastrami sandwiches with half-sours and a Dr. Brown's cream down at Katz's, and I don't do that with just anyone, I count him among my closer friends.

His note was short and grumpy. Just the way I like notes.

"Can you believe this shit," he wrote. And then there was a link to an article from Campaign Magazine. There was a time when I might have changed names to protect the innocent, but that Dragnet shit is over for me. Frankly, I was too nice for too long and it did me no good.

Inside O*il*y’s employee wellness program

by Sabrina SanchezApril 19, 2021

The ‘100% You’ program goes beyond mental health to address four pillars of wellness: money, movement, minds and meals.

The past 13 months have been tough on everyone’s mental health. 

As 9.7 million people in the U.S. remain unemployed, and those working from home struggle with burnout from their screens, the overall well being of Americans dropped sharply last year. 

As a result, employee wellness programs took on new meaning. 

To rise to the occasion, O*il*y launched a new program, called 100% You, that aims to address a fuller picture of wellness for employees, said J*m*s K*nn*y, chief people officer in North America and global chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer at O*il*y.

“We've invested in buildings and in technology,” he said, “but it was time to invest in our [employees] —100% of [them].” 

The program, which launched shortly after 
K*nn*y joined the company in January, includes weekly Zoom seminars around four pillars:  money, movement, minds and meals — to address financial, physical, mental and dietary wellness. U.S. employees are given a time code to attend sessions, which are held during the work day.

The seminar aims to address all of the things employees most need to bring their whole selves to work, 
K*nn*y said. 

“We often talk about wellness as moving your body, or some sort of app, but few people realize the importance of financial wellness,” he said. “If we invest in our people and we teach them how to create [wellness] for themselves, it’s [reflected] in the work.”

Each month, sessions are led by one of four coaches: professional softball player and TV host with DraftKings, A.J. Andrews; CEO and founder of finance coaching platform 
The Financial GymShannon McLay; Morrocan chef Yasmina Ksikes; and certified health coach and yoga teacher Yvette Rose. 

Diversity was also top of mind when developing the program, 
K*nn*y said, adding that he was intentional about choosing four women — and three women of color — to coach.

“When we're talking about 100% You and total wellness, [representation] is part of that,” he said.

While the program is U.S.-based for now, O*il*y plans to expand the program to Europe and APAC and create branding around the program when offices reopen. 

“Whether you're in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles or Denver, we will have dedicated spaces for coaches to come in and create this experience on a weekly basis,” 
K*nn*y said. 

He added: “I don't think there's anything more important than this investment in bringing people together. To me that's where creativity begins: through community.”

Reading that bullshit, I don't think there's much else an agency called Mouthless has to say to justify its reason-for-being. I found the notion of "wellness" from a place that sweats people to death and doesn't pay or promote them the moral equivalent of a cold Soviet shower with Levrenti Beria and a plumber's helper.

However, if you're still not convinced regarding the need for an agency like the one I'm proposing, let me leave you with this. Tell me if you don't think the world would be a lot better off with a lot more duct tape. And many fewer Holding Company Chieftains.

WPP Launches Global Data Company: 


Delivers a privacy-first approach to customer data amid changing
market dynamics

W*P (NYSE: W*P) today announces Cho*eog*aph, a new global data company,
to help clients realize the value of their first-party data, consult on and implement
their data and technology strategies, and advise on privacy-first approaches to
navigate the fast-changing data landscape. Cho*eog*aph brings together the
specialist data units of G*oup* and W*nd*rm*n T*om*son into a single
company with global reach, accessible to all WPP clients and companies.

Cho*eog*aph’s core belief is that marketers own their first-party data with 

consumer permission; respect for privacy and the intentional use of data is at the
heart of its approach. Guided by this philosophy, 
Cho*eog*aph will continue to
create market-leading tools to support clients in the appropriate and responsible
application of data in advertising. 
Cho*eog*aph’s role is to orchestrate and
integrate data sets, including managing first-party data as a service, to
expand audiences for growth, and to use data to optimise and improve
media, creative and consumer experiences.

The company will offer four key product categories—audience insights and planning; 
private identity solutions; AI-based media optimization; and predictive analytics—
and services including strategy consultancy, custom technology development and 
data management operations.

M*rk R*ad, CEO of W*P, said: "We are at an inflection point in the industry, where 
brands have an imperative to leverage their own first-party data to make
advertising more relevant, effective and personal while fully respecting
consumer privacy. We must also use data to gain insights, shape our creative
work and measure results – 
and this requires a holistic approach that
this integrated offering brings by enabling data to flow across client,
agency, and media owners. Uniting the powerful and established data units
G*oup* and W*nd*rm*n T*om*son into a single global data company
is another important step in our simplification strategy."

Cho*eog*aph builds on W*P’s extensive data and consultancy capabilities within 

its creative, media, PR and specialist agencies. Leveraging the common data and
technology platform, W*P Op*n, 
Cho*eog*aph has a commitment to agnostic data
partnerships, including cleanroom partners by market, creating unrivalled flexibility
for clients....

...Walgr*ens Bo*ts Al*iance is a premier Cho*eog*aph launch client, as part of
the selection of W*P as its global marketing and communications agency in 2020.
"Cho*eog*aph delivers a unified identity-based approach, providing unique insights
to fuel brand growth and power personalized experiences for our customers
while fully respecting their privacy and preferences," said M*tt H*rker,
VP Global Marketing Strategy & Transformation, Walgr*ens Bo*ts Al*iance.

C*ristian Ju*l, G*oupM G*obal C*O, said: "Data management today should 
reflect the data and technology savvy of the consumer. Cho*eog*aph is built
on common-sense principles that allow marketers to manage and use 
their data.
Our framework of manage and earn, expand and enrich, and activate and optimize
is flexible, modular and designed for the future of data-based businesses,
enabling marketers to create better experiences, stronger brands and
trusted customer relationships."

The new company has the scale advantages of W*P, the world’s leading creative
transformation company, and G*oup*, the largest media investment company
with an annual investment of over 60B USD. Cho*eog*aph launches in all major
markets globally, with support hubs in Karlsruhe (Germany), Lille (France),
London (U.K.), New Delhi (India), New York and San Francisco (U.S.), Shanghai
(China) and Sydney (Australia).

About W*P

W*P is a creative transformation company. We use the power of creativity to
build better futures for our people, planet, clients and communities.
For more information, visit...

By the way, if you're a company that's losing accounts left

and right, losing money quarter after quarter, rather than saying
you use the "power of creativity to build better futures...." perhaps 

you should be Mouthless. Or make money.

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