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Morning Update: Former Mediacom CEO alleges widespread US agency ‘kickbacks’; GroupM responds to rebate allegations

AdAge: Former Mediacom CEO Alleges Widespread U.S. Agency ‘Kickbacks’

Jon MandelMedia agency rebates and kickbacks, long thought to be something that happened overseas — or only in pockets of the U.S. market — are actually widespread, said former Mediacom CEO Jon Mandel, so much so that it caused him to leave the agency business. Mr. Mandel made his remarks in a blistering presentation to the Association of National Advertisers Media Leadership Conference on Thursday in Hollywood, Fla.

Mr. Mandel, who left Mediacom as CEO in 2006 and later served three years as CEO of the NielsenConnect unit, made his remarks as CEO of media consultancy Dogsled Enterprises. He’s also CEO of marketing-analytics firm PrecisionDemand and board member or advisor to ad-tech firms, including online targeting firmeXelate.

AdAge: GroupM Responds to Industry Rebate Allegations

GroupM’s response to allegations by ad veteran Jon Mandel ofindustry-wide secret rebates in the U.S. has come swift and strong.

“In the U.S., rebates or other forms of hidden revenue are not part of GroupM’s trading relationships with vendors,” said Rob Norman, chief digital officer at WPP’s GroupM, in a statement Friday. “GroupM and its agencies have not sought nor received any rebates from U.S. media vendors or other parties with whom we do business on behalf of our clients. In other markets around the world, rebates are sometimes part of the buy-sell relationship between agency and vendor. GroupM returns those rebates to advertisers in compliance with and as required by our client contracts.”

AdWeek: Justin Bieber Spoofs His Own Calvin Klein Ads in Promo for Comedy Central Roast

Justin Bieber is officially eating his own tail.

To promote his upcoming roast on Comedy Central slash desperate plea for respect, Canada’s cruel revenge on America participates in a parody of his much-buzzed about, possibly-but-he-swears-it-totally-wasn’t-Photoshopped Calvin Klein ads.

Jeff Ross dresses as model Lara Stone and does a good job of creeping hard on Bieber, who keeps playing the same drum fill over and over, like the greasy pop machine he is, posing as the real boy he seems to be.

Screen Shot 2015-03-09 at 8.21.00 AMMashable: The Salvation Army creates anti-abuse ad using ‘the dress’

Though it divided the Internet just last week, the dress is now the centerpiece of a new PSA.

The South African chapter of the Salvation Army created an ad campaign about domestic abuse using the white-gold version of the dress. The image, which features a woman covered in bruises and wearing the dress, states: “The only illusion is if you think it was her choice.”

Mumbrella Asia: AKQA hires Eric Cruz from Leo Burnett Malaysia as Shanghai ECD

Digital agency AKQA has hired Eric Cruz from Leo Burnett Malaysia as ECD of its Shanghai office.

He joins AKQA after more than three and a half years at Leo Burnett, where he worked on brands including Petronas, Maxis, Proton, Samsung and McDonald’s at ECD.

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