BIC Professor Michael Farmer on Sir Martin and WPP in The New York Times

4/28/2018 Unknown 0 Comments

The departure of Martin Sorrell from WPP, the world’s largest advertising company, has received a lot of press as the industry tries to imagine an already rocky communications terrain. An April 20th article from the Business Section of The New Times used BIC Professor Michael Farmer as a source.


Michael Farmer, author of the book Madison Avenue Manslaughter, says the holding companies need to stop accepting demands to produce more work for lower fees. He also said they need to compete more effectively for talent against firms such as Accenture.

"The tipping point has been reached," said Farmer, who works with advertising agencies and major brands such as Ford and Kraft on strategy. "WPP is not growing."


Read the entire article here.

Blockchain, AI, and MarTech. Oh, My!! Tech for Non-Techies Concludes on a Sunny Saturday

4/28/2018 Unknown 0 Comments

Over the course of two long Saturday sessions, BICsters learned basic concepts, terminology, and broad applications of technology and design driving the communications industry in order to enhance dialogue, lower intimidation, and be more productive in cross-disciplinary, tech-fueled projects.

On April 21st, BIC welcomed to campus four experts in the area of blockchain technology, artificial intelligence, and data management in the ad-tech and mar-tech space.

Jenna Niven, Creative Director, R/GA
As a creative director focusing on emerging technology, Jenna has worked with dozens of Fortune 500 clients to deliver innovative and creative solutions that connect and engage with their various audiences. Over the past 10 years she has worked to bridge the gap between data science, engineering and creatives. More recently, whilst at R/GA, she has focused on integrating AI into the entire creative process from research, to ideation, to product/service design - creating an AI design framework along the way.

Evan Hanlon, President, [m]PLATFORM, GroupM
Evan focuses on empowering the organization with data and technology. He oversees the strategic direction for all disciplines touching data, technology, analytics, and addressable media for clients, with a focus on GroupM’s largest data-driven clients such as Target and Colgate. He first came to the group through Xaxis in 2011, where he led the audience strategy group in engaging with the broader data ecosystem and creating innovative approaches to audience buying for clients such as Jaguar Land Rover, Nordstrom, and NBCUniversal.

He is a graduate of Harvard College, with a Bachelor of Arts in Visual and Environmental Studies.  Prior to Xaxis, he started his career on the creative side as a copywriter and brand strategist, focusing on the development of brand identities.

Logan Moore, Senior Partner, Adobe
Logan has been in Tech & Advertising his entire career, from working at the initial programmatic display and native advertising start-ups, to advising on small business advertising strategies. Logan now works at Adobe where he leads the North American Alliance between WPP and Adobe, focusing on joint solutions and strategic alignment across a portfolio of technology products and offerings.

Danielle Leong, Data Strategist, Raise
Raise is a platform that leverages blockchain technology and smart contracts to enable quantifiable impact investing. Always excited about new technologies, Danielle’s done investment in the cryptocurrency space as well as teaching classes on the basics of blockchain and its applications. As a data strategist, she’s worked on transforming raw data into meaningful impact metrics on job growth created by startups in emerging markets.
Not all attendees found the lectures scintillating.

New Book Calls for Balance in Public Relations from BIC Professor Sandra Stahl

4/28/2018 Unknown 0 Comments

BIC celebrated the publication of Professor Sandra Stahl’s The Art & Craft of PR with a book signing on Wednesday, April 25th. Students and faculty from BIC and the CCNY undergraduate program in Advertising and Public Relations filled the room to hear Sandra highlight nine rules of the trade including having empathy and writing with integrity. “There is no such thing as spin in PR — we just don’t do that,” Sandra stated emphatically.

Drawing on decades of experience in agency and corporate positions, Sandra has created a user’s manual of skills that distinguish PR as integral to meeting organizations’ needs and business challenges. Her book includes insights from communications leaders at corporate, agency, and industry powerhouses including Burson-Marsteller, Chevron, Edelman, Levi-Strauss, and the Holmes Report.

Advance praise for The Art & Craft of PR includes:

“Public relations has the power to do more than communicate. Sandra shows us how and why that is so important.” -Mike Fernandez, US CEO, Burson-Marsteller

“This book does a wonderful job of defining what PR is in a changing environment. It is great for practitioners as well as young people. I can’t wait to give it to my granddaughter who is thinking about a PR career. In clear, inspiring language, it explains what we do.” -Charlotte Otto, former Global External Relations Officer, Procter & Gamble

“The Art & Craft of PR is not only a great introduction to PR for those new to the discipline, it also has plenty of a-ha’s and insights for the seasoned pro. I recommend it wholeheartedly.” -Chip Walker, Director of Brand Strategy, Bloomberg Media

The Art & Craft of PR is available for pre-order on Amazon (retail price: $14.95) and will be released for sale March 20, 2018 in the US and June 21, 2018 in the UK.

BICsters Win BIG at CCNY Grad Symposium

4/28/2018 Unknown 0 Comments

Once again, BICsters rocked the Great Hall on a Thursday night as six teams presented amazing projects at the 2018 CCNY Graduate Symposium. Sponsored by the Graduate Student Council and now in its eleventh year, the symposium is organized like an exhibition fair. Accepted presentations received a display table where grad students from all CCNY divisions pitched their projects to audience members and judges as they roamed the Great Hall.  By night’s end, the winners were announced...and five BIC teams were awarded prizes from among three categories: Innovation, Liberal Arts, and Engineering. 

Awesome NEWS >>  BICsters swept the Innovation category by placing FIRST, SECOND, and THIRD.
Sahana Chowdhary, Nai Chen Liu, Amera Lulu, and Natia Maisuradze won First Place in Innovation for their project on the future of co-working space. This strategic idea was developed as a part of BIC Professor Scott Elias’ MCA B2001: Strategy & Measurement course. Through their research, they found that many new entrepreneurs mainly in small cities don't expand their businesses because they do not have access to affordable office space or supplies. Owing to this challenge, they give up their dream of starting their own business. 

In order to help these small entrepreneurs, the BIC team's solution was to create a partnership with Staples stores in over 1200 locations across the USA. The partnership would not only help entrepreneurs and start-ups, but also elevate Staples' brand identity by establishing co-working spaces in its own stores, attracting new customers and enhancing its brand value.

Second Place in Innovation went to the BIC Team of Fidel Frias, Juliana Geh, Carol Hwang, and Joseph Yoo for a project they also submitted to 2018 The One Show student competition for Sonnet Insurance which positions this Canadian company as an optimistic choice for protecting your family. Their project was overseen by BIC Professors Sam Saunders and Katina Scott.

Third Place in Innovation went to Tiffanie Burt for a project that she did in Professor Zontee Hou’s B3002 Consumer Behavior and Persuasion course. Tiffanie’s objective was to break down the perception of the Supreme clothing brand in order to showcase a strategic model in which the brand plays as an innovative part in the conversation on diversity. Entitled “For the People: Brought to You by Supreme,” her presentation showed how the brand can move forward using digital strategy to become a leader in establishing inclusiveness for everyone.

BICsters also took home SECOND and THIRD place wins in the Liberal Arts category. 

Kacy Charles and Sean Feol-Baugh won Second Place in the Liberal Arts category for their “Not Just a Box” campaign to promote diversity and inclusion in the workforce. This campaign also won the 2017 PR Council's Student Innovation Competition. Read more  about this campaign HERE.

Surabhi Govindarajan won Third Place for “Project: Belong” which brings together Unicef and MyHeritage to help refugee orphans realize they are a part of a bigger lineage that will give them a sense of identity and belonging. This project also won BIC's DezMax Scholarship. Read more about Sur's project HERE.

Benny is Back -- Thanks to BICsters!!

4/28/2018 Unknown 0 Comments

It started as a nine month branding project by BIC students Vivi Billesoe, Iara Camona, Kacy Charles, and Surabhi Govindarajan to create a brand identity for the on-campus spirit store. But on April 30th, the campus will experience bonafide Benny MANIA as the school mascot struts his stuff beyond the spirit store to spots all across campus.

From the very beginning, the BIC team (mentored by BIC Professor Gerardo Blumenkrantz) appreciated the power of a physical space where students could purchase CCNY merchandise. According to their research: 1) an actual store sends a message to the greater community that we’re all connected to a positive place, 2) it builds camaraderie and gives people a tangible way to express their school pride and 3) connects students and families off campus, too.

According to their presentation to senior stakeholders at the college including Senior Advisor to the President Dee Dee Mozeleski and CCNY SVP COO Len Zinnanti, BICsters asserted that City College has a great legacy of excellence AND inclusion AND diversity AND successful alumni AND Nobel Prize winners. BUT students don’t really know much about this proud heritage. THEREFORE a spirit store with "ownable" brand identity gives CCNY a great opportunity to create an immersive experience for students and families where they can connect with City College’s unique and powerful brand value.

So what’s the hook? Benny the Beaver, CCNY’s mascot since the 1930s.

BICsters confirmed interest in the mascot through a survey that brought CCNY students into the naming process. Once they had a strong strategic message and name, BICsters got to work on a big idea and executions that included a logo, teaser ad campaign, experiential, social, in-store signage, and grand opening promotion. From there, CCNY Office of Communications got to work and not only made it happen, but extended the Benny brand to other locations, including the dining hall, cafes, and bodega.

Only the Curious Survive: Rob Norman @BIC on the Past, Present, Future of the Industry

4/22/2018 Unknown 0 Comments

In a fast paced hour, BIC Board Member and former CEO/CDO of GroupM Rob Norman took a packed audience on a thirty year journey: the explosion of media in a digital world, an Englishman's passion for the New York Mets, and an unavoidable cab ride with Sir Martin Sorrell to Heathrow.
But the most fascinating part of the lecture was when our favorite "trendcaster" looked ahead. His presentation of when clouds collide laid out a potentially stormy future with the creation, destruction and transfer of value, including youth defection from Facebook, capital over-reach by Amazon, and brand safety by Google. Ever the optimist, Rob provided a pathway to a brighter future with "data beacons in an audience-driven world that connect identity and the right assets to inventory and outcomes at any stage of the consumer journey."

It's always a privilege to welcome Rob to campus, especially as he retires from his amazing perch at GroupM. However, Rob's not going anywhere. As reported in Ad Age last November "The "retirement thing," he hopes, will broaden the horizons a bit. "It allows you to be curious over a broader canvas than viewability ... not that viewability isn't important," he says. 

GroupM is the largest purchaser of advertising media in the world and is a division of WPP and the parent company of Maxus, MEC, Mindshare, Xaxis, M80, IEG, Catalyst and Quisma. On a global basis, GroupM invests in excess of $80 billion on behalf of its clients. Overseeing more than 3,000 digital specialists around the world, Rob's leadership has been transformative. He has been called "arguably the most influential person in digital advertising."

Other members of the BIC Board were also on The City College campus to listen to Rob, including former @BIC Speakers Barri Rafferty, CEO Ketchum and Rob Schwartz, CEO TBWA/Chiat/DayNY. They were seated along with Douglas Davis, Belle Frank, Hayes Roth, Dee Salomon, and GroupM Managing Partner Tim Cecere.

Marcus Graham Project Picks Kelvin Morales for iCR8 Fellowship

4/19/2018 Unknown 0 Comments

The email said: "We want you to join us this summer and embark on a journey that is beyond your imagination. Your life is going to change in 11 short weeks. You will make friends, meet geniuses and spark your mind to fire off great ideas with great people."

That's how Kelvin Morales BIC '19 heard that he had been selected to be part of the Marcus Graham Project's iCR8™ program. He'll join fellow BICster Natalie Alcide this summer in Dallas, Texas. He'll be juggling his time between Dallas and San Francisco, where he'll be attending The LAGRANT Foundation conference in June.

The selected participants in iCR8™ programs form themselves into a pop-up agency that they will run as they manage the clients that they will partner with. Each year, the selected team typically provides consultancy for a select non-profit organization, as well as a large corporation and a start-up.

ABOUT Marcus Graham Project's iCR8™: it was inspired by a blog written by Tiffany R. Warren, Chief Diversity Officer of The Omnicom Group and Founder of the AdColor Industry Coalition:

“One idea proposed is the creation of an industry sponsored advertising “bootcamp.” Such a camp could assist those agencies who need to diversify, but are worried about lack of advertising experience in potential candidates. This would also help professionals yearning to be free from other sectors hit the ground running when they enter ours.” (“The Big Tent,” Ad Age Blog)

The goal of iCR8™ programs to do just as Ms. Warren suggested, identify opportunities in the industry and those interested in pursuing them. The curriculum design was inspired by the 1969 Agency Primer written by Bill Sharp entitled, “How to Be Black And Get a Job in The Advertising Business Anyway.”

Approaching its 9th year, the Marcus Graham Project’s experiential learning methodology is specifically designed to provide diverse aspirants in the field of marketing and media, including advertising, PR & social media with the exposure and experience necessary to solidify careers within the industry.

5th BIC Cohort Snags FIVE TLF Scholarships

4/17/2018 Unknown 0 Comments

L to R: LaToya Heron, Amera Lulu, Kelvin Morales, Rebecca Rivera, Jen Cuffari

FIVE BICsters have won prestigious The LAGRANT Foundation (TLF) Scholarships: Jennifer Cuffari, LaToya Heron, Amera Lulu, Kelvin Morales, and Rebecca Rivera. In a powerhouse showing, they are among just 40 graduate students nationwide to receive a TLF scholarship whose winners share the foundation's mission of increasing ethnic diversity in the advertising, marketing and public relations industries.

This is the fifth year in a row -- in BIC's fifth year of existence -- that BIC students have been selected to win a highly selective The LAGRANT Foundation Scholarship. Fred Garcia and Amber Jackson, BIC '15, Donna Dei-Baning, BIC '16, Dalisbeth GalvezMelissa JulienPriscilla Parra BIC '17, Charisse Holder, Erica Lopez, and Sean Feol-Baugh, BIC '18  received the $5,000 scholarship in 2014, 2015, 2016 and $3,250 in 2017 (respectively). With 14 recipients in just five years, BIC has now received the most scholarships given to a school/program in the Northeast during The LAGRANT Foundation's 20 year history. 

Jen, LaToya, Amera, Kelvin, and Rebecca will each receive $3,250 and join students from such prestigious institutions as Harvard, Duke, Northwestern, University of Pennsylvania, Syracuse, Georgetown and Emory. They will all receive travel and lodging to May events either in San Francisco or New York City. Explaining BIC's strong showing, Kim L. Hunter, Founder and Chairman of TLF, said that "CCNY students are thoughtful, creative, and imaginative." 

This year's multi-track selection included two students from the BIC Creative track, two from PR and one from Management. Jennifer Cuffari received a BBA from CUNY's Baruch College and has worked as a Teaching Art Assistant at Doing Art Together. LaToya Heron graduated from the University of Rochester with a BA in African-American Studies. She is currently a Junior Analyst at Omnicom Media Group. Prior to enrolling in BIC, Amera Lulu received a Bachelor's in Communication Design from CUNY City Tech. She has worked for The ONE Club for Creative Excellence, is a MAIP fellow as well as Campus Ambassador, and is currently interning at Ogilvy. Kelvin Morales received his BA in Communication Arts at Florida International University. He's currently the Brand Manager for Ralph Lauren at Macy's. Rebecca Rivera earned her BA in Comparative Literature from Occidental College. She has worked as a copywriter and Creative Director at various heavy-hitting agencies throughout New York City, including DDB, Digitas, TBWA, and Deutsch. Rebecca also helped establish the 3% Conference which champions diversity and inclusion. 

The LAGRANT Foundation’s 2018 scholarship recipients will be recognized during the 20th Anniversary Scholarship and Donor Recognition Reception in May at either the New York City or San Francisco location. Scholarship events will kick off with a welcome dinner followed by two days of career development workshops as well as a scholarship & donor recognition reception. During these activities, students will have the opportunity to meet industry professionals, network, and gain exposure to the advertising, marketing, and public relations world.

The event in New York City is sponsored by Omnicom Public Relations Group and Ketchum, with Karen van Bergen, CEO, Omnicom Public Relations Group, serving as the New York City host committee chair and Rob Flaherty, chairman at Ketchum and TLF board member serving as New York City host committee co-chair. Gail Heimann, president of Weber Shandwick will be this year’s keynote speaker.

Since its inception in 1998, The LAGRANT Foundation (TLF) has provided 372 scholarships and $1.98 million to continue its mission to increase the number of ethnic minorities in the fields of advertising, marketing and public relations. With the generous support of its major donors and supporters, TLF provides students with career & professional development workshops, scholarships, internships, entry-level positions and mentors to African American/Black, Alaska Native/Native American, Asian American/Pacific Islander and Hispanic/Latino undergraduate and graduate students.

DECODED Teaches BICsters and Innovators Code-in-a-Day

4/17/2018 Unknown 0 Comments

In a Saturday session that included highly motivated BICsters, Education Innovators, and Industry Pros, DECODED demystified technology by providing lively and fruitful instruction on HTML and Javascript. All participants were tasked with answering a brief that required them to produce a lifestyle app using basic coding language. With the glow of laptops lighting their faces, over 30 tech "newbies" made the decision to forgo the best weather of the season in order to sit together for this intensive workshop that is part of a larger one-credit BIC course "Tech for Non-Techies" which has a mission to teach students basic concepts, terminology, and broad applications of technology and design necessary in the communications industry so that they are not intimidated and more likely to be productive in cross-disciplinary, tech-fueled projects.

This immersive 4-hour, on-campus experience was created as a partnership between DECODED and CCNY's BIC Program. Spearheaded by Jeffrey French as part of DECODED's Social Impact pilot project to expand its mission beyond the corporate world into the broader educational space, the BIC session included more than 15 BIC students, educators from CUNY and Parsons The New School for Design, as well as industry professionals from Y&R, TBWA/Chiat/DayNY, Diageo, and 360i.

ABOUT DECODED: Founded in 2011, DECODED has quietly built a formidable stable of tech education and learning services, coupled with a world-class roster of instructors. Along the way, DECODED has transitioned into offering custom programs, working with companies such as Mastercard, Unilever, NBCUniversal, IBM, and General Electric to help align their digital visions with workforce behavioral changes. DECODED has conducted its custom, immersive, in-person learning program with more than 200,000 enterprise learners and 600 companies across 85 cities globally.