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Morning Update: Grey London team quits; Diet Pepsi brings back Aspartame; ’cause ads’ at Cannes; LinkedIn rolls out programmatic

Nils Leonard. Credit: Grey London

Nils Leonard. Credit: Grey London

Ad Age: Grey London Management Team Quits in Surprise Exit

Nils Leonard, chairman and chief creative officer of WPP’s Grey London, has quit the agency alongside its CEO, Lucy Jameson, and managing director Natalie Graeme.

The trio are believed to be starting their own agency – a bold move at a time when the U.K. is facing long-term uncertainty triggered by last week’s Brexit vote.

pepsi aspartame classic cans

Ad Age: Diet Pepsi Resurrects Aspartame Formula as ‘Classic’ Version

PepsiCo is bringing back the aspartame version of Diet Pepsi after taking the sweetener out of the soda less than a year ago. But the resurrected original version will be sold in limited quantities and the aspartame-free variety will remain the marketer’s flagship diet cola.

The changes, which were reported first today by Beverage Digest, are part of a broader overhaul of PepsiCo’s sugar-free lineup, which has dealing with sales headwinds. The aspartame version will be marketed as the “Classic Sweetener Blend” and be sold in light blue “retro” packaging.

Mumbrella Asia: Questions from Cannes: Should cause ads have their own awards show, how to find value in VR, and how to embrace genuine storytelling?

In this guest post, Grant Hunter looks back at a week at Cannes in which cause related work dominated, Asia performed meekly, virtual worlds showed potential, and a film contest with a difference provided inspiration for agencies to take risks without resorting to scam to win awards.

It’s been a couple of years since I’ve visited the festival and it’s bigger than ever with dedicated shows for innovation, health and entertainment. It resulted in over 42,000 entries and the Cannes Lions balance sheet must be looking healthier than ever.

LinkedIn logo

Ad Week: LinkedIn Is Launching Programmatic Advertising for Display Ads

LinkedIn is beginning to offer advertisers the option to buy display ads programmatically for desktop devices.

Marketers will be able to buy display ads through an open auction or through LinkedIn’s Private Auctions, using first- or third-party data along with LinkedIn’s targeting of audience segments—such as visitors of the LinkedIn home page—on the professional network.

Testing began in the third quarter last year with tech advertisers for both software and hardware, as well as other industries such as telecoms and financial services.

Vice Media’s headquarters in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Vice owns websites, social-media channels and a cable network. PHOTO- CHRISTOPHER GREGORY FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

Wall Street Journal: Vice, BuzzFeed Tread on Madison Avenue’s Turf

Dan Meyer was in the backroom of a cluttered production studio at slick offices in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, being filmed as he called a company’s customer service line and pitched goofy marketing ideas to an unsuspecting, ever-the-professional representative.

Mr. Meyer isn’t a celebrity spokesperson or a comedian, and he is far from Don Draper. An equipment manager in the production department at Vice Media, he also moonlights as a host of Vice Labs, a division tasked with rethinking how traditional TV advertising looks on the company’s new cable network Viceland.

penguin books cormac mccarthy tweetAd Age: I Am Looking Into This Report to Verify Its Authenticity

This morning the world mourned the tragic loss of… journalistic fact-checking.

And also, for a short time, the tragic loss of literary lion Cormac McCarthy. Though an initial report via @USAToday was that Mr. McCarthy died of a stroke, in fact it turns out he died of acute tweetisis, which was brought on by a gullible USA Today staffer believing a hoax tweet about the author’s death and then rushing to “report” the news via a now-deleted tweet (“#BREAKING Pulitzer Prize-winning author Cormac McCarthy dies of a stroke at 82”).

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