Mad Ave Manslaughter Delights BICsters

On Wednesday night, BIC celebrated the second edition of Michael Farmer's smash hit Madison Avenue Manslaughter with a book signing event on the CCNY campus. This paperback version includes new material as well as a forward by John Seifert, Chairman & CEO of Ogilvy and Mather.

The award-winning book tells truth to power as an inside view of "fee-cutting clients, profit-hungry owners, and declining ad agencies." It's been a bestseller for publisher LID Publishing, who provided the books and refreshments for the event. Students stood on line and posed for photos -- even though many would be spending time with the author later that evening in B3003 Internal Management, the class that he teaches at BIC. Last year, students were unable to get copies of the book because it had sold out on Amazon after a popular article in Forbes.

BIC Professor Michael Farmer is Chairman and CEO of Farmer & Company, a consulting firm that advises advertising agencies. Prior to founding his own company, Professor Farmer was a strategy consultant at the Boston Consulting Group and Director of Bain & Company. With degrees from Princeton and Harvard, he brings vast expertise into the classroom and advises on the BIC curriculum.

Preach, Michael. Preach.

PRSA-NY Big Apple Awards Introduces Diversity and Inclusion Categories

The Big Apple Awards makes a big leap forward with the introduction of Diversity and Inclusion categories. For creative industries such as public relations, texture and richness arise through diversity of people and diversity of thought. 

Yet, even as Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) becomes a top-of-mind issue for executives across all business sectors, the difficulty of identifying best practices and assigning metrics to track D&I activities has remained a challenge to overcome.  
The search for solutions in the PR industry has given PRSA-NY, a unique leadership opportunity.  

Prof. Angela Chitkara, Associate Director of the PRSA-NY Big Apple Awards and BIC PR Track Director explains how the introduction of two new D&I award categories in the 2017 Big Apple Awards program takes a significant stride toward recognizing and showcasing the investments of time, creativity, resources, and the long-term commitment that agencies and firms are making in D&I. 

Read the full article here

Mentor Like You Mean

As each new BIC class enters the program, students make their industry debut at BIC's annual mid-town event called "Mix+Mentor" where communications pros mingle, mix, and promise to mentor BICsters throughout their two year journey.

This year, BIC held its M+M at the gorgeous new offices of R/GA on 33rd Street.  Steeped in design, technology, and creativity, R/GA is considered the company for the connected age™ committed to creating world-class work that's ahead of it time -- AND to mentoring future leaders from BIC!! This year, we had a "mentor-cam" mixing it up at the M+M to capture some highlights by asking guests: "What does mentorship mean to you?" 

Thanks, Mira Steinzor, for editing our video. And thanks to everyone who came to this year's M+M at R/GA!

BIC Profs to Judge One Club's Young Ones Competition

The ONE Club has invited BIC Professors Nancy Tag and Gerardo Blumenkrantz to be among its international jury of professionals and educators for the 2017 Young Ones Competitions, perhaps the most acclaimed advertising, interactive and design student competitions on the planet, dating back to 1986.

Thousands of students across the globe compete to win Gold, Silver and Bronze Pencils. The Pencil winners are awarded at the annual One Show Young Ones Education Festival awards ceremony during Creative Week in May and finalists are published in the prestigious One Show Annual as well as online in the Young Ones Awards Archive. 

Last year, a BIC team won the Gold Pencil for its submission “Effigies for Equality” to help end gender discrimination. To relive last year’s glory, click on the video below…


Heineken Partners with BIC in New CSR Initiative

HEINEKEN USA, the nation’s leading upscale beer importer, is partnering with BIC Class of 2017 on a Corporate Social Responsibility initiative that amplifies its current DRINK OR DRIVE campaign which encourages people to make responsible drinking choices. Tara Rush, Chief Corporate Relations Officer of HEINEKEN USA, and Tina Kaiser, Director at APCO Worldwide, came to The City College campus last Thursday to brief the class on the parameters of the assignment.
Tara Rush, Chief Corporate Relations Officer of Heineken, USA

As part of the company’s commitment to eliminate drunk driving, HEINEKEN USA (HUSA) has re-examined the way this topic is typically communicated.  The commonly used phrase “Don’t drink and drive" includes the conjunction “and” which implicitly links together the words "drinking" and "driving." HUSA wants to strengthen the antithetical nature of those two actions and replace the word “and” with “or.” By asking the question, “Will you drink or drive?”, HUSA believes it can change an age-old conversation, transform consumer behavior, and promote better decision-making.
Tina Kaiser, Director at APCO Worldwide

Advocating responsible citizens and better decision-making is a part of HUSA’s "Brewing a Better World" philosophy and is a key priority within the company’s global business strategy. This makes Heineken a progressive voice in the beverage industry and speaks to the brand’s core values. BICsters were especially excited to join Heineken in its efforts to change the public narrative.

Each Spring, BICsters compete as three interdisciplinary teams to develop branding and integrated communications campaigns for a corporate client that are pitched at the end of the semester. Past clients have included Universal Music Group and Univision. This capstone course is overseen by BIC Program Director, Professor Nancy R. Tag.

BIC's Latest MAIP Superstar: Sean Feol-Baugh

BIC is pleased to announce another MAIP All-Star: Sean Feol-Baugh has been selected to work in the Account Management Department at McCann New York this summer. This is the fourth year (out of four) that one of our BIC students has earned a spot in this prestigious 4A's Multicultural Internship Program

Sean's multicultural background makes him the ideal candidate for MAIP. Having had the benefit of living in another country, he brings a unique perspective to how he engages people and his work. Recently, Sean has been involved in Workforce Development, more specifically as an Instructor/ Counselor in the Second Life Job Training Program at Housing Works. Being an advocate for social change and the education of the underprivileged, Sean is a humble individual who is determined to help those less fortunate than he.

Originally from Jamaica, Sean has lived in two countries and travelled extensively which has broadened his perspective and increased his ability to learn from others. He is poised to make the most of his time in the BIC program and make an impact on the industry.

Each year, undergraduate and graduate students are selected for the 10-week paid summer internship at a 4A's member advertising agency. Students gain practical work experience, establish key industry contacts, and become better prepared to land a full-time job in communications when they graduate. Upon completion of the program, interns become members of the MAIP Alumni Association, a close-knit family of over 2,600 MAIP graduates that fosters the development of future MAIP interns as well as the professional development of the program's alumni.

Sean joins Melissa Julien (BIC ’17) who interned last summer at DigitasLBi, Chris Villanueva (BIC '15) who is now a copywriter at DigitasLBi, and Ivan Ramirez (BIC ’16) as BIC beneficiaries of the 4A's MAIP. Because most graduate students are active professionals, few BICsters apply for and receive this honor. Nonetheless, BIC is proud to have had a MAIP recipient every year since BIC launched in 2013.


CEOs Mix Business with Politics in a HUGE Way

In an exclusive interview with Fox News this past weekend, US President Donald J. Trump said, "I'm an honest person. The country has very, very, very deep-seated problems. We have to do something about it."

CEOs have taken positions, already. According to WeberShandwick Research, more than one half of adult Americans expect CEOs to engage in hot button issues. The most recent one involves U.S. President Donald J. Trump's executive order that prohibits travel for people originating from seven predominant Muslim countries.

The Holmes Report interviewed WeCommunications president Alan VanderMolen who is calling the government and regulatory landscape "unprecedented." "There's a real focus on the integration of public affairs and marketing into communications in ways we've never imagined."

Read more here:

FTC Feels Like Somebody's Watching Me (and You)

Musical artists Rockwell and the late Michael Jackson sang, "I almost feel like somebody's watching me." Well, it's happening. 

According to a recent release from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), VIZIO, one of the world's largest manufacturers and sellers of internet-connected "smart" televisions has been slapped with a $2.2 million fine for collecting viewing data of 11 million viewers without their consumer's consent-- or knowledge. 

Think you’re not being followed even after you deleted your cookies, emptied your cache and adjusted your web browser settings? Think again. Recently, Digital Advertising Company Turn agreed to settle charges brought up by the FTC that “ it deceived consumers by tracking them online and through their mobile applications, even after the consumers took steps to opt out of such tracking.” The FTC complaint alleges the Redwood City, CA based company tracked millions of Verizon Wireless customers through the use of  "unique identifiers,” even after they were blocked or deleted. The proposed FTC consent order requires Turn to provide an explicit opt-out policy for consumers who do not want their information used for targeted advertising. 

To read the FTC's December 20th release, click here:

IOT (Internet of Things) Now Ready For Business

There will be more than 20 billion IoT ( Internet of Things) devices by 2020 that connect to the internet in some form, according to Edelman, a leading global communications marketing firm. The story of IoT in the marketplace has advanced from the B2C in which businesses were selling to consumers to the way in which businesses can leverage IoT in increasing organizational efficiency.

Read more here:

BICster Urges Us to Get Civically Fit

Election got you down? Feeling powerless? Marika Bailey BIC '16 decided to do something about it. In partnership with some far-flung friends, Marika launched My Civic Workout, whose mission is to train citizens how to fight those daunting feelings of disheartenment by engaging in meaningful civic activism.  "We know that activism can be hard, but it gets easier with practice. " Like any exercise routine,  the hardest part is figuring out how to get started and stay motived. My Civic Workout is a way to push people into taking that first step and then developing the muscle to become civically fit. The subscription service launched in November and has already been featured on MSNBC and other media. As of this writing, subscribers number 9,000 -- and growing.

Subscribe today at

BIC Certificate en Español

During two amazing weeks between the Fall 2016 and Spring 2017 semesters, BIC launched a new certificate program in partnership with the University of Palermo (UP), Buenos Aires and in association with CCNY's Office of Continuing and Professional Studies. 

Students arrived on Monday, January 9th for instruction in the core principals of the CCNY Master’s Program in Branding + Integrated Communications (BIC).  Instructed entirely in Spanish by BIC faculty, alumni, and industry professionals, the course focused on how to utilize market research, strategize, and create content that builds a narrative for corporate identity as well as consumer experience. 

Anchored at The City College of New York campus in the Hamilton Heights section of Harlem, students also had site visits to Y&R, Adobe's Behance, Google, YouTube, and Samsung. “This course was so interesting and it was great to be in New York City. It’s professionally oriented and more hands on; it’s very different from courses in Argentina that are more theoretical, “ said Melisa Ana Inés Poggio, a BIC certificate student who wants to pursue a master’s degree in branding.

The second week wrapped up on Wednesday, January 12th as students made presentations on a branding campaign that included research, strategic thinking, and conceptualizing -- as well as put their design skills to work. Student work on Gatorade, Nestle's Quick, and Red Bull was reviewed by an audience that included MCA Chair Jerry Carlson who also handed out the BIC certificates during the awards ceremony.

Gustavo Stecher, BIC Professor Gerardo Blumenkrantz, and BIC Program Director Nancy R. Tag at UP's VII Latin American Congress of Design Education in Argentina, July 2016.

The idea for the certificate came out of a Spring 2016 brainstorming session with BIC Board Member Gustavo Stecher, BIC Program Director Nancy R. Tag and  BIC Professor Gerardo Blumenkrantz. Later in July, they made a presentation as honored guests at UP's VII Latin American Congress of Design Education in Argentina which helped promote the certificate program. “We thought that an intensive workshop-style course would be a great way to increase interest in the BIC program for international students, faculty, and professionals who reside in the Spanish Speaking Americas,” said Professor Tag.

BIC gives special thanks to those who made this experience possible:  CCNY Executive Director of Continuing and Professional Studies Sharon Mackey-McGee. Our BIC alums Rolando Leal (BIC '16) Strategist at SociedADChardonnay Noble (BIC '17) Internal Relations at Google, and Carol Burns (BIC '15) EBC Concierge at Samsung. From Y&R, EVP Global Strategy Belle Frank, Senior Strategist Gustavo Quinteros, Global Comms Associate Elisabeth Bierschenk, and Raysa Figueroa. At Adobe Behance, Director of Branding Mark Brooks, Head Curator Oscar Ramos, Head of Community Roxanne Schwartz, Community Experience Associate Jackie Galeano, Assistant Editor of 99U Kiana St. Louis, and Events Leader of Behance & 99U Andrea Rosen. At Meno es Mas, Pamela Blanco and Flor Cicirello for their design work. Finally, BIC would like to thank Oscar Echevarria, the Dean of Design and Communications at the University of Palermo, and Gustavo Stecher who not only helped conceive, plan, and promote the Certificate, but accompanied the students from Buenos Aires and helped provide an awesome experience for them here in New York City. 

"Hasta Siempre!" to our BIC Certificate students from Buenos Aires...

TogetHER makes it to Zahn Semi-Finals

How do you motivate people to engage in a charitable cause in sustainable way? That's the question that Marika Bailey BIC '16 and Naushi Perera BIC '17 sought to answer when developing a campaign to tackle gender inequality. Their solution, the TogetHER app, earned them a semi-finalist spot for the Standard Chartered Women + Tech4NYC  prize of the 2017 Zahn Innovation Center Competition. The app works with wearable devices that keep track of your daily steps, allowing you to team up with a sponsor to create your own personal "walkathon" on behalf of the women in this world who toil at tasks that are barriers to advancement. This transforms charitable giving into a daily habit that is more sustainable. Their team includes other BIC students (Melissa Julien and Nikki Lebenson Angulo), BIC faculty (Nancy Tag and Gerardo Blumenkrantz) as well as professional mentors (Bethany Andres-Beck and Nick Coronges).

Each year, up to six start-ups are chosen to compete for the Standard Chartered Women + Tech4NYC Seed Prize as part of the Zahn Innovation Center's Venture Competitions. Semi-finalists gain access to the Zahn incubator and mentorships. By nature, the chosen start-ups have a social impact mission at their core. Winners will be announced after final presentations in the Spring 2017 semester.


Rob Norman previews the near future: CES 2017

As we'd expect, GroupM CDO Rob Norman puts the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show in perspective...before it even occurs! In his latest "Big Idea" post, Rob previews the upcoming global consumer electronics and technology tradeshow and poses this question: "How can we build, maintain, and make discoverable a data story around brands, with and without screens, to ensure their prominence and survival in an age of machine mediated relevance?"

Read our favorite influencer's latest musings here. Thanks, Rob, for your insights!

BIC Tackles Teen Anxiety on Behalf of the UJA-Federation

It was a challenging goal: to reduce isolation for the Jewish teen community when it comes to issues of mental health. But by joining forces with the UJA-Federation of New York as well as the Jewish Board and 70 Faces Media, BICsters in the Fall 2016 non-profit capstone rose to the challenge.

On Thursday, December 15th, three teams presented strategically driven campaigns that leveraged traditional, online, social, mobile, and other digital communications vehicles to meet the target audience where they live. Each campaign sought to create a movement in which teens could become active participants, content creators, and advocates. Anchored in a "big idea," teams demonstrated how their campaigns would roll out with a timeline of tactical elements for a yearlong plan. Professor Douglas Davis oversaw their efforts.

Throughout the semester, BICsters were aided in this task by members of the Jewish community, BIC faculty as well as BIC alums. Our main client contact, Pam Schuller, Program Coordinator of Teen and Mental Health Initiative, Jewish Board of Family and Children's Services, provided guidance all semester long. She was joined by Jonathan Katz, Elise Slobodin, and Linda Gross for the December 15th client pitch. All four judged the pitches to determine which campaign best met their needs.

Each team developed distinctive approaches, from managing the mental stress that's hiding in plain sight ("The Invisible Truth") to resisting the false narratives of social media ("There's More"). The winning team, Mosaic, uncovered research indicating that teens were more likely to express their hidden feelings when engaged in artistic activity. Their #DareTo Express campaign gave teens, parents and the Jewish community at large a platform to disarm and unlock teen emotions through creativity.
Members of the winning team Mosaic
Special thanks to Mirm Kriegel, Executive Director, Brand Strategy at the UJA-Federation of New York for connecting with BIC Professor and Y&R EVP Belle Frank last spring to make this project a reality. Past non-profit capstone clients have been Columbia Children's Health and the Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership.

BICsters Make Waves for Circle Line

All semester long, BICsters in the Idea Development course led by Professors Gerardo Blumenkrantz and Nancy Tag learned how to create brand narratives and multi-media stories by developing impactful campaigns for Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises. Since 1945, the Circle Line has hosted over 60 million passengers; it's the only cruise company in New York Harbor exclusively dedicated to sightseeing. While doing research, first year BIC students got to explore the city by taking actual tours. In another dose of reality, BICsters were then treated to client feedback when the Circle Line marketing team of Laura Stancarone, Michael Mattera, and BIC alum Alex Suazo showed up on December 7th, the last day of class.

As final presentations in a foundation course, these were the first of many that BICsters will be making in front of actual clients. After viewing nine campaigns, the Circle Line team came away with a number of implementable ideas and gave highest praise to a campaign created by Kacy CharlesJason Tai, and Sean Feol-Baugh.

Professor Angela Chitkara named a CUNY Mellon Faculty Fellow

As part of the CUNY Mellon Faculty Diversity Career Enhancement Initiative (CMFDCEI) and with support from the Mellon Foundation, BIC Professor Angela Chitkara has just been named a Faculty Fellow for 2016-2017. The initiative is tied to University-wide efforts to increase diversity, equity, and inclusion as outlined in the Diversity Action Plan and in accordance with the mission of the University. The aim of the initiative is to develop sustained mentorship via research/writing seminars on CUNY campuses and a series of professionalization workshops to increase the success and professional satisfaction of our diverse professoriate.

By creating the intellectual spaces to further advance scholarship and creativity, the initiative seeks to enhance prospects for tenure and promotion and improve upon the overall University climate. Its objective is to anchor and support a tenure-track faculty as they build an intellectual community, work toward peer-reviewed publications, and attend professionalization workshops.

Congratulations, Angela!

Think How They Think @BIC

On Tuesday, November 15th, Douglas Davis kicked off our @BIC Lecture series, demonstrating to designers and business professionals how important it is to “Think How They Think.” As Principal of The Davis Group, Professor, Designer, and Strategist, Douglas was able to give the audience a deeper dive into his recently published book Creative Strategy and the Business of Design that teaches both sides of the creative/business divide about the strategic objectives and marketing decisions that drive creative work.
Some of Douglas’ key observations included:
>> Business is annexing design, as it previously integrated marketing.
>> Clients expect everyone involved with the brand to be strategic.
>> Design schools don’t teach business strategy. 
>> Business school doesn’t teach how to inspire designers. 

Douglas’ astute observations are partly the results of having a successful career as a professional designer/art director who couldn’t get to the next level without pursuing a second graduate degree in Integrated Strategy from NYU.  His personal journey represents the BIC program’s core belief that real leadership in this complex world of communication requires “T” shaped thinkers and doers: people with discipline passion AND more broad-based knowledge of how this industry works. In other words: designers who think strategically. Managers who understand design. Strategists who understand social media and corporate communication. And so on. 

After his presentation, Douglas stuck around for a book signing. Given his recent national book tour, BIC was lucky to have him speak on campus — even though he also somehow manages to teach BIC’s fall capstone every Thursday!

R/GA Hosts the FUTURE

On Thursday night, October 20th, BIC held its annual Mix+Mentor networking event at the AMAZING new offices of R/GA on 33rd Street.  A crowd of over 100 guests showed their commitment to the future by meeting and promising to mentor members of BIC's Class of 2018 featuring 30 hard-working grad students from across the globe, around the United States, and right here from New York City.

Industry professionals, consultants, and recruiters from agencies such as R/GA, Ketchum, Interbrand, VaynerMedia, Droga5, Samsung, Night Agency, Hawkins International, VML, NYTimes T Brand Studio, Finn Partners, Kalson Communications, Jack Morton Worldwide, Y&R, The Barbarian Group, Citizen Relations, FutureBrand, Gravity, Publicis, Rooney Partners, Berlin Rosen, ABW Solutions, HA Roth, Porter Novelli, Deep Focus, DigitasLBi, Siegel + Gale, BBDO, 4A’s, PRWeek, and Time Warner offered encouragement, exchanged business cards, and made commitments to mentor. 

Our special guest of the evening was advertising legend and BIC Board Member George Lois who posed for selfies and offered words of wisdom throughout the night. Several BIC alums now active in the industry were also there to celebrate the power of mentorship. Some were caught on tape as our MentorCam circulated the room to document guests who were there to honor this year’s theme Mentor Like You Mean It. 

BIC Program Director Nancy R. Tag congratulated R/GA on its spectacular new space and expressed gratitude for  sponsoring this year's Mix+Mentor. She expressed a special thanks to catalyst Jenny Tieman and organizer Whitney Donaghy of R/GA as well as BIC Program Specialist Christina Castro and BIC Tech Specialist Mira Steinzor. Professor Tag then welcomed the crowd by introducing BIC's latest incoming class, the fourth since the program's launch in 2013. 

She also highlighted some of last year's outstanding accomplishments -- noting a theme of THREE in BIC's THIRD year: three recipients of $5,000 The LAGRANT Foundation Scholarships, first, second, and third place (once again) at the 2016  CCNY Graduate Symposium, three BIC teams chosen for The One Show Client Pitch, a $5,000 Zahn Entrepreneurship contest winner, our third MAIP winner, two articles about BIC students in AdWeek, and... a super heavy GOLD Pencil at the 2016 One Show Student Competition.  All evidence that mentorship matters!

But the focus of the evening was really on the incoming class: "By committing to BIC's two-year master's degree program in order to think more deeply about the issues impacting media and communications today," Tag noted, "these students have already demonstrated a commitment to the industry -- and to everyone in the room who's dedicated to future." Past sponsors of the BIC Mix+Mentor have been Y&R, Ketchum, McCann, and GREY.

Visit our GALLERY to see more photos!