Conill announced that advertising creative Gustavo Sarkis will join the agency as its Executive Creative Director effective November 20. In this new role, Mr. Sarkis will lead all Conill creative teams and client campaigns across its offices in Los Angeles, Dallas and Miami.

Equal business stature is a straightforward concept. It’s important because deals often don’t get closed without it. People do business with those they respect, those they trust and view as credible, and who they see as their peers. If you are viewed as less capable or less professional, why would someone trust you with their business?  by Mark Duval - The Duval Partnership

There tends to be a cyclical movement regarding where an agency optimization function sits within an organization, but it usually resides in either the marketing or procurement group. Regardless of where the program sits within an organization, the idea around optimizing the agency partnership has evolved from a focus on process efficiencies and cost savings to real opportunities for marketing procurement and marketing operations to partner with brand marketers to create additional value for executive stakeholders and the business at large.

Growing up in Puerto Rico, Ingrid Otero-Smart was so introverted she rarely spoke in school.  Yet as President and CEO of Casanova McCann, Otero-Smart runs one of the largest multicultural advertising shops in the country. The firm works with blue-chip clients including Nestlé, U.S. Army and the California Lottery. This year, it was the most-awarded U.S. Hispanic agency at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, the second year in a row Casanova earned that recognition.  By Court Stroud

As promised, I’m drilling down further on the positioning of the “full service”-classified agencies from Adweek’s list of the 100 Fastest-Growing Agencies.  By Mark Duval - The Duval Partnership

Republica Havas announced the appointment of Jason Wolske and Danny Alvarez as the agency’s Executive Creative Directors, effective immediately. Based out of Republica Havas’ Miami headquarters, Wolske and Alvarez will report to Luis Casamayor, Co-Founder, President and Chief Creative Officer. In the newly created roles, they will lead the agency’s creative team across a roster of major clients.

When it comes to agency new business, agency leadership is confident on one point: "just get me in the room," they say—as if that alone is the golden ticket. Based on experience, that is most definitely not enough. But why? One reason is that people often don’t have the skills to close effectively. Another is that they are approaching the interaction with the wrong mindset. And another is that they’ve failed to do their preparatory homework.  By Mark Duval / Duval Partnership

The 2016 ANA report on media transparency was a welcome and long-overdue wake-up call for the global advertiser community. By highlighting the existence of nontransparent trading practices in the U.S. media market — by most measures the largest and most sophisticated in the world — the report focused many national and global advertisers' attention on the issue of transparency in media. It was the first stepping stone on the journey to more transparent media trading.

Tony Nieves, MARCA President and co-founder, announced that Charles Neugebauer has been named VP, Executive Director of Strategic Services.

Earlier this year the ANA launched the Trust Consortium in partnership with our outside counsel, Reed Smith LLC, to help address the issue of trust between marketers and the advertising ecosystem. The Trust Consortium consists of subject matter experts committed to working together to keep trust on the front burner, emphasizing transparency, integrity, and growth for the overall health and well-being of the industry.  By Bill Duggan

Newlink has been named the communications agency of record for The Fives Hotels & Residences luxury properties in Playa del Carmen and Puerto Morelos.

I’ve wanted to do a post about trends in agency positioning ever since I wrote about agency taglines. What I expected to find was a significant overlap in the key terms and positioning statements across agencies. When I circled back to write it up, however, that wasn’t the case as much as I’d expected. The reason, I suspect, is that I selected some of the top-ranked agencies for this exercise. Were I to revisit this topic with a larger group of agencies, including small to midsize agencies that are not necessarily in the “top 100,” I think I’d find a huge amount of redundancy in positioning statements.  by Mark Duval - The Duval Partnership

Media rebates are the top issue contributing to the breakdown of trust in the advertising ecosystem, according to a new survey from ANA (Association of National Advertisers) and its outside counsel, Reed Smith.

Robyn Loube,has been named Vice President of East Coast Operations for Sensis. Loube will oversee Sensis offices in DC, Atlanta, and Little Rock

Client management is an important counterpart to an agency’s new business program. Even the best new business program can be undone by an unsustainable client load and mismanaged agency-client relationships. On the flip side, client management may be challenged by poor qualification and inconsistency in your agency’s new business processes. For the best results, agencies should have both pieces in place.  by Mark Duval / The Duval Partnership

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