Saturday, August 10, 2013

Advertising Has New Top Agency

Why would two giants in their industry merge?  Random House and Penguin recently merged to form the world’s largest book publisher.  Now, two leading advertising agencies are combining to form the world’s largest ad powerhouse.

Publicis of Paris and Omnicom of New York just displaced previous No. 1 agency, WPP of London.  The two companies have a combined stock capitalization of $30 billion.  Last year, Publicis grew revenue by 14% and Omnicom grew by 2.5%.

The two firms represent some of the biggest brands, including Pepsi, Visa, AT&T, Wal-Mart, McDonald’s and Coca-Cola.  It seems there’s a huge conflict of interest when Coke and Pepsi are under one umbrella.

The newly crowned behemoth already consists of large networks of iconic ad agencies, including Saatchi and Saatchi, TBWA, BBDO, Leo Burnett and DDB.

Whenever big industry leaders merge one wonders if more mergers are to come.  The answer is “yes.”

The news media, advertising, book publishing, public relations, and marketing firms tend to have mergers and takeovers whenever:

·         The economy slows down
·         The economy is about to take off
·         Technology or some other industry change drives deals
·         The landscape changes (others then follow to compete)

Does it mean anything to the consumer?  Well, whenever there’s less competition, prices rise and innovation declines.  Price increases in ad agency fees get passed on to the consumers.  On  the other hand, it means an opportunity may soon open up for smaller firms to do what big ones can’t or choose not to do.

But could you imagine Facebook merging with LinkedIn or Google and Microsoft?  That has happened with publishing and advertising.  I expect more mergers, perhaps within industries and across them.  Not only might two more big publishers merge together, but you might then see that newly formed unit team up to buy an ad agency or a media outlet.

Eventually, Mr. Potter (from It’s a Wonderful Life) or Mr. Burns (from the Simpsons) will own it all.

Interview With Author Emily Liebert

What type of books do you write? I write Commercial Women's Fiction. My first book, Facebook Fairytales, was narrative non-fiction. You Knew Me When is my debut novel and my next novel after that will come out in September 2014. I just finished writing the first draft!

What is your newest book about? My debut novel, You Knew Me When, is a story about the bonds of love and friendship—how they can be severed and mended. It's about finding your place and your way in the world and making sure your priorities are on track. The main character Katherine Hill left her small New England hometown in pursuit of a dream. Twelve years later, she’s a high-powered cosmetics executive in Manhattan and a much glossier version of her former self, unrecognizable to her family and old friends. Her former best friend, Laney Marten, always swore she’d never get “stuck” in Manchester, Vermont. She felt she was destined to live out her glamorous big city dreams. Instead, she wound up a young wife and a mother. That was when Katherine ran out. Over a decade passes and Katherine receives word of an inheritance from former neighbor Luella Hancock. She reluctantly returns home to the people and places she left behind. Hoping for a second chance, she’s met by an unforgiving Laney and her former love, Grant. Tethered to their shared inheritance of Luella’s sprawling Victorian mansion, Katherine and Laney are forced to address their longstanding grudges. Through this, they come to understand that, while life took them in different directions, ultimately the bonds of friendship and sisterhood still bind them. Together, the two women will discover that sometimes the only way to move forward is to go back.

What inspired you to write it? I’ve always been interested in female friendships and how bonds can be severed and mended over time. When I was younger, I had a best friend who promptly dumped me as soon as I started dating my first serious boyfriend. We reconnected years later, but it was never the same.

What is the writing process like for you? I have a routine. When I’m in working mode, I usually write for about four hours a day—in the morning and early afternoon. The rest of my working time is spent on publicity, partnerships, conference calls and all of the other things (outside of writing) that go with publishing a book! If I get a lot of writing done Monday-Thursday, sometimes I’ll give myself Friday off from writing to give my brain time to “think.” The words don't flow easily all the time, but you have to push yourself. Some of my best ideas are conceived in the shower or when I wake up in the middle of the night!

What did you do before you became an author? I've always been in the journalism industry in one way or another. My first job was as an assistant to an Executive Producer at ABC News. After that, I was the Editor-in-Chief of The WAG Magazine for five years—it's a luxury lifestyle magazine covering Westchester and Fairfield Counties. Then I freelanced for a number of years, writing travel, fashion, beauty, and celebrity profiles for national magazines. After that I edited Kerry Kennedy's New York Times bestseller Being Catholic Now. And then I wrote my first book.

How does it feel to be a published author? It feels very gratifying. I've worked hard to get where I am. I had a lot of doors slammed in my face. But you have to keep kicking them in. It's also a nice feeling to be employed as an author during what many perceive to be a challenging time for the publishing industry.

Any advice for struggling writers? Write what you're passionate about. Write every day; it helps you develop a rhythm. Push yourself. Develop a thick skin. We've ALL been rejected (many times!).

Where do you see book publishing heading? I like to believe that people will always read books, whether it's a hard copy or via an electronic device. It's certainly become more challenging for authors to sell books to publishing houses, especially now with the merging of Penguin and Random House. Still, I think the good books and talented authors will inevitably rise to the top! 

For more information, please see:

Potential Resources For Funding Your Writing?
Aspen Institute Nonprofit Sector and Philanthropy Program

Center for Effective Philanthropy

Charity Navigator (general resource for the Canadian nonprofit sector)

Giving Global

Global Giving

Grantmakers for Effective Organizations

Grantmakers Without Borders

The Philanthropic Initiative

Venture Philanthropy Guide (venture philanthropy landscape in the US and Canada)

Book excerpt from: All I Really Need To Know I Learned in Kindergarten by Robert Fulghum
“I believe that imagination is stronger than knowledge; that myth is more potent than history; that dreams are more powerful than facts; that hope always triumphs over experience; that laughter is the only cure for grief; and I believe that love is stronger than death.”
“Share everything.  Play fair. Don’t hit people. Put things back where you found them. Clean up your own mess. Don’t take things that aren’t yours.  Say you’re sorry when you hurt somebody. Wash your hands before you eat.  Flush. Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.  Live a balanced life – learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some. Take a nap every afternoon.  When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands, and stick together. Be aware of wonder.”

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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, the nation’s largest book promoter. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2013

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