Advangen CEO takes aim at Ikon, claims agency targeted women in fishing shows

The CEO of the parent company for hair loss brand Advangen has, today, used an investor call to take aim at its former media agency Ikon Communications, blaming it for a “totally unsatisfactory” advertising campaign in early 2016.

AdvangenMaria Halasz, CEO of Cellmid, told investors that due to the ongoing legal action she was unable to provide much detail of their cross-claim but cited one example, of where she said ads for women were being shown during a fishing show, to claim the agency had missed its objectives.

“We are now in a legal dispute with Ikon and I will not go into any detail on the multiple basis of our complaint,” said Halasz. “But by way of example, a female (targeted) ad was shown during a fishing show. We do know that some women watch fishing shows but the evidence shows these are a small minority.”

Halasz also claimed that the poor performance of the campaign had had a negative financial impact on the business, with the CEO noting that they had made sure their distribution network was “fully stocked” in anticipation of an uplift in demand, which failed to eventuate.


Halasz: the campaign with Ikon was “unsatisfactory”

“We contracted Ikon Communications in June of 2015 to drive customers to stores with a targeted advertising campaign,” said Halasz. “All (the) pillars were in place to maximise our 1000 stores national pharmacy distribution network, which was fully-stocked by the start of January 2016.

“We were ready to go but the advertising campaign that Ikon delivered was, in our view, totally unsatisfactory. Our expert advice has subsequently confirmed that the ads missed the creative brief and campaign objectives entirely.”

The parties are now embroiled in a legal dispute, with Ikon claiming it is owed $939,000 and Avangen saying it intends to counter-sue, claiming Ikon “engaged in misleading and dishonest conduct”.

“They are also managing our most recent launch of an advertising campaign; the results of this new campaign which only started on the 20th of July, at a significantly lower cost than Ikon, is too early to comment on.”

Advangen’s remarks drew a strong statement from Ikon, which had previously avoided commenting on the matter, rejecting the notion that it had not been transparent and insisting its legal action was largely an attempt to “recoup pre-approved third-party costs.”

ikon logo large“Ikon Communications can confirm it has entered into legal proceedings against Advangen International, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Cellmid, primarily to recoup pre-approved third-party costs,” said a spokeswoman.

“Throughout its 17-year history, Ikon has had a strict policy of acting with complete transparency in all its dealings with clients and other service providers.  It will vigorously defend any claims made by Advangen in relation to misconduct.”

Halasz noted that attempts at mediation between the parties had been unsuccessful but claimed it was confident in its claim.

“We have tried to settle our differences with Ikon but our recent attempts at mediation failed,” she said. “Ikon filed legal action on the 22nd July and we will vigorously defend these proceedings and file our own cross-claim. Our legal advice is that we have a strong claim against them.”


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.