Madison, Wis.-based craft brewery Ale Asylum is partnering with creative and branding agency Planet Propaganda, also of Madison, to get in on the hard-seltzer trend (Nielsen reports hard seltzer sales grew 193 percent in 2019 from 2018). Launching its own brand of hard seltzer, Stray Forth, Ale Asylum hires Planet Propaganda to promote the beverage ahead of its Aug. 8 release in Madison-area liquor stores, groceries and bars. The agency is tasked with developing the product’s full branding and design story, including naming, logo, packaging design, audience definition and marketing strategy. Planet Propaganda will remain a partner to Stray Forth—coming in flavors “Enchant-Mint, Clairvoyance, Safari and Walkabout”—as it looks to expand beyond the Madison market.
PMK*BNC and Rogers & Cowen unite
Rogers & Cowen merges with PMK*BNC, creating a new global agency for talent management, PR and integrated marketing that spans more than 500 clients, represented by a team of 350 people. Alan Nierob becomes chairman of the agency’s entertainment division. Shirley Hughes will be president. Bill Rosenthal becomes chief operating and financial officer. Brad Cafarelli and Fran Curtis are both vice chairmen in L.A. and New York, respectively. The combined entity will unveil a new name in the coming months.
The wins of the week
Richards/Lerma, a full-service Hispanic-focused agency, has been selected by Ocean Spray, a maker of dried cranberries and juices, for its launch into multicultural markets. The agency, through creative and strategy, is tasked with driving awareness of Ocean Spray’s products in new consumer segments including younger and multicultural demographics.
The Gate New York, part of the global Gate Worldwide network, won the creative and media buying and planning account of online auto retailer Carsation, following a three-month review. The agency will also be responsible for a full rebrand of the company including a new name, identity and communications. The first work from The Gate New York is expected to debut sometime later this summer.
Some hiring highlights
WPP’s Grey promotes Diego Medvedocky to president of the network’s Latin America region. Medvedocky is Grey Latin America’s chief creative officer and president of Grey Argentina, both roles he retains. Medvedocky joined Grey Argentina as executive creative director in 2013 and was elevated to chief creative officer of the Latin America division a year later. Under his leadership, Grey Argentina has doubled its revenue and clients, while Grey Latin America was named the Cannes Lions Regional Network of the Year in 2017 and 2018. “The truth is that I did not expect this but it makes me very happy,” Medvedocky says.
Interpublic Group’s Campbell Ewald elevates Kari Shimmel to chief strategy officer. She will oversee a strategy team comprised of Chris Marchegiani, who becomes group director of brand and integrated strategy, and Ashok Sharma, who comes to the agency as group director of integrated content and channel strategy. The team will be run in Detroit, New York and Los Angeles. Suzanne McGee, who has been running PR for Campbell Ewald since June, will also be taking up earned media strategy duties for clients at the agency. McGee used to lead communications for MullenLowe.
Match Marketing Group, a self-proclaimed consumer engagement agency operating in the U.S. and Canada, hires Brian Cohen as CEO. Cohen succeeds Michael Dill, who will be leaving after picking up the post in 2017 and who says he be will announcing his next move sometime in 2020. Cohen hails from Epsilon Agency, part of the data-marketing conglomerate Publicis recently acquired for $4.4 billion, where he was chief operating officer for nearly two years.
Wavemaker appoints Pedro Laboy as the GroupM network’s chief precision marketing officer in the U.S. Laboy hails from Critical Mass where he was chief data and innovation officer. In the new gig, Laboy will focus on leveraging precision marketing for Wavemaker’s clients and connecting its audience-planning skills to search, social, programmatic and commerce. “As marketers shift to more audience-centric strategies, agencies must enable seamless connections from audience data and insights to cross-channel activation and commerce,” says Wavemaker U.S. CEO Amanda Richman, who Laboy reports to.
FCB New York adds Sy-Jenq Cheng as executive creative director and head of art, a new role created by Chief Creative Officer Ari Halper. For the past several years, Cheng was freelancing as a creative and design director and prior to that was a senior art director for Wieden & Kennedy London and Amsterdam, working with clients like Nike.
Creative shop Blue State hires Rob Trono from digital agency FullSix London as a creative director in the U.K. Trono brought in clients Pernod Ricard, Nokia and Sainsbury’s while at FullSix. He also spent six years as a digital creative director for Publicis Chemistry, leading work for Aviva, Dove and Baileys.