In a not at all surprising move, Disney's ABC Television Group is relocating 5% of its staff to the dumpster.
Here's the "business update" letter sent out to the "team" on Thursday by Anne Sweeney:
After months of making hard decisions across our businesses to help us adjust to a weakening economy, we’re now faced with the harsh reality of having to eliminate jobs in some areas.
This was not an easy decision, nor one made lightly. The people affected today are our friends and colleagues, and we are doing all we can for them and their families during what we know will be a difficult transition.
Change is never easy, and becomes even harder to embrace during times of turbulence and uncertainty. With that in mind, I’ve asked each business leader to reach out to their group with more information on this announcement as soon as possible.
I realize this is an extremely difficult day for everyone in our group. But despite the challenges before us, I remain confident and optimistic about our future, because you really are the best team in the business.
Because semi-accuracy in reporting is the very foundation on which MonKeyArtAwards is built, we feel it necessary to inform our readers of a rebuttal we received regarding our January 7 post on the Humboldt County one-sheet.
It seems that the issue for the MPAA was not that the marijuana cigarette in the original art was too puny, but that it was lit. In fact, they don’t allow a lit cigarette of any kind to appear on a movie poster. However, they have no objection whatsoever to a man standing on a gigantic flying tampon.
Marc Shmuger and David Linde have just signed on for four years as chairmen for Universal Pictures.
Shmuger, addressing 2,000 of the studio’s remaining employees in person and on closed ciruit TV at the Globe Theater at Universal Studios said, “I say with a sense of pride, and all due credit to our team, that this company is now firing on all cylinders."
We think what he meant to say was, “this company is now firing employees on all cylinders."
If you’re like us, when you think of forward-looking brands on the leading edge of technological and artistic progress, you think Microsoft, Publicis Groupe and NBC. So when we read that Publicis' VivaKi unit, which has a digital wing that has the nerve to call itself The Nerve Center, was in the kitchen with Microsoft, CBS and NBC & Fox’s Hulu cooking up a new video advertising format we weren't surprised.
We’re not sure what this exciting new ad thingamabobby will ultimately be, but Curt Hecht, the head nerve at the Nerve Center assured Online Daily Media it won’t be shiny or blinky.
And, after “a series of consumer focus group studies around the country,” we’re betting it will be the dumbest of all possible contenders.
We just read in Varietythat ABC Entertainment and ABC Studios have combined themselves to form ABC Entertainment Group.
Students of history will recall that when NBC did a similar move with Universal it led to a dumpster full of canned execs.
So, despite ABC's assurance that there are no "immediate" layoffs planned, when Anne Sweeney, co-chair of Disney's Media Networks says, "the landscape of our business and an opportunity to coalesce the creative process dictated this change in creative structure…" we’re pretty sure it means an axe is being sharpened somewhere.
If you’re like us, you have nothing better to do all day than troll the Internets looking for agencies’ "About Us" pages to make sport of.
But even we, who have dedicated our lives to this pursuit, cannot keep track of all the shops that come and go in this crazy biz called show. You can't swing a cat without hitting a designery boutique around here these days, although it remains to be seen how many will remain to be seen by the end of 2009.
So see if you can guess which one of the billions and billions of entertainment advertising agencies out there is home to our latest Mystery Mission Statement:
----- is a team of seasoned professionals, including former studio executives(whoa! Where did you ever find any of them in this town?!!)and creative directors that are here and ready to meet your every need.
Our hand picked, highly talented team (unlike machine picked teams you find at other agencies) specializes in the creation of print campaigns for Feature Films, Network Television, Cable, Home Entertainment as well as the Independent Market. While working with ----- you can always count on a fresh approach to each project. We work timelessly (note to self: we’ve got to get a system in place for tracking hours spent on jobs)to ensure that your project is done to the highest standard each time it leaves our studio(and comes back again and again and again for revisions).----- will get to know your target market and learn to speak their language(unless, of course, they speak Portuguese, which would be a total waste of our time).Our team works hard to make your life easier by becoming your partner in every way(except, of course, sexually, which would be a total waste of your time).
----- demands excellence in everything that we do and will do whatever it takes to keep our promises to the client. We possess an uncanny ability to track the smallest details while keeping an eye on the big picture, you, which makes us invaluable, strategically and tactically(especially if you’re the type of self-absorbed jackass client who actually thinks that you're the big picture).
If you’re like us, you know there's nothing more bloggyful or more streeter than when a marketeer gets down with his bad self. Which is why we nearly swooned while reading The Cobra: Inside A Movie Marketer’s Playbook, The New Yorker’s profile on Lionsgate’s Tim Palen.
If you're like us, you are all too aware that we are entering a new era, as studios put down their low tech axes and start taking IEDs to their ad budgets. Mind you, it’s not that they’re calling for a decrease in the amount of creative they wish to see, just in the amount of money they’ll pay to see it.
Nonetheless, according to Variety, marketeers are betting that web and mobile campaigns won't be hit as hard as other media. Which really isn’t saying much since, despite all the hoopla, digital still only represents 7% of a film's marketing budget.
Variety goes on to allow Jenny Wall of Crew Creative and Trailer Park’s Evan Geerlings among others to make the case for bigger budgets for online and mobile campaigns.
And, to demonstrate just how widdit and on the page Variety really is, they included as a sidebar Hollywood's New Vocabulary with such up to the minute buzz words as "Avatar" and "YouTube Channel" as a way for Wall, Geerlings, et al. to better communicate their desperate need for clients to spend the same kind of dollars on new media as they used to spend on old media.
We heard that the MPAA had some issues with the one sheet for Humboldt County; apparently the reefer in the original poster wasn’t quite fat enough for their liking.
It got us to thinking back to 2003 when all we were saying was give war a chance. The theatrical one sheet for What A Girl Wants had Amanda Bynes flashing a peace sign, but when the DVD was released, Warner Bros. had the offensive hand gesture removed.