Friday, July 08, 2011

Marketing | On the roadkill, with CMO Banikarim

"Women,'' Chief Marketing Officer Maryam Banikarim wrote only last month, "represent half the total consumer market and make more than 85% of buying decisions in U.S. households today. Women now drive the world economy."

Somehow, then, it follows that a new PointRoll marketing campaign, built on a sly reference to screwing women, is worthy of high praise -- from Banikarim herself.

There it is, in her latest newsletter to Gannett employees, highlighting the best and brightest from across our marketing solutions company. (See item four, circled, below.)

Several possible explanations:
  • She likes PointRoll's Tap That Ad campaign, but didn't understand the "tap that ass" allusion.
  • She likes the campaign, and did understand the allusion.
  • She's set the bar incredibly low.
  • Someone else is making these picks, while Banikarim updates her resume.
Earlier: Here's Banikarim's first e-mail to the troops.


  1. A lot of holier-than-thou hand-wringing here.

    Many porn and.or coarse sexual references have made their way into polite society, including 'the money shot,' 'friends with benefits,' 'booty call,' 'MILF,' and various 'in your face' references now used in sports.

    Not sure 'tap that ad' is so awful in comparison.

    I do think it would have been subtler and hipper without the clumsy handprint. Few people would make the link to the coarse remark, and isn't pointroll about touching, not pawing?

    Anyway, I actually like it (without the ad).

  2. Meant to say, I actually like it without the handprint.

  3. First let me say that this ad campaign and the stupid comment be Rob Gatto about "size" and "how you use it" is truly immature. Pointroll must be so desperate that they need to advertise their brand in this way. Catherine Hepler and Rob Gatto should be fired for this dirt-bagish marketing.

    Secondly, Pointroll works with well regarded global companies and ad agencies that I believe would be offended by this type of humiliation of women. Seriously, I am offended by this and I, as a female employee at PointRoll, think this is making many of us uncomfortable in the workplace.

    Third, this immature behavior is a typical day here at PointRoll. You get used to the crude comments and jokes many of the times, but what you don't see are the excessive drinking and sleeping around that occurs at PointRoll among colleagues.

    Finally, I really wish someone at Gannett would look into how this new PointRoll executive team is managing the employees and the business. There are plenty of lawsuits to waiting to happen and these guys are mis-managed.

  4. If anyone is wondering why Pointroll is losing it's top clients, this ad campaign isgiving all of our top clients a reason to leave. So unprofessional!

  5. Rob Gatto and his entire management team at PointRoll are a bunch of wise-asses. This is not the old PointRoll where Chris, Andy and Keith were approachable, nice and well regarded in the industry. Rob Gatto is a punk and there are many people in this company that would like to see him removed.

    The fact that the CMO of Gannett does NOT understand the underlying message in this ad campaign is very disturbing. Shows how desperate even Gannett is for attention.

    When was the last time a company bragged about the "size of their penis" and the "way they use it" and they are still in business. It seems like PointRoll is trying to differentiate themselves since competition has really heated up and they are feeling the pressure. Maybe PointRoll should build a better product and win business by innovating, not immature marketing campaigns centered around sex and tattoo's.

  6. Oh, no, Maryam understands this message. She's in marketing. She's not embracing it, but highlighting it. Maybe she is trying to get the word out about how horrible this idea is. Think about it.

  7. Could this be another crazy Robin branding creation?

  8. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  9. The focus here day after day on Maryam, Sandra and Robin, who normally would be nuts and bolts marketing and PR exceutives, deminstrates his bereft of vision Gannett's leadership really is.

    Respect them or not, leaders like Al Neuharth, Tom Curley, even Doug McCorkingdale, had strong identities, set clear goals and let everyone know what the company stood for and where it should be going. Who were the marketers in those years? (I'll wait.)

    But now we ruminate over what this or that might mean to Mary am, to Sandra, to Robin. That's not where the power is but because Gracia and Hunke and Dubow are so without vision, personality or ability to articukate goals that we treat Mary am like she's running the company!

    The vacuum is real and the problem is like that movie ad used to say, "In Gannett, no one can hear you scream."

  10. At least we knew Tara listened once in a while.

  11. Maryam, we have high hopes for you. Please, give us something better than this silly newsletter.

  12. Of the trio you mention, there is one outstanding exception who shouldn't be there, and that is Robin whose job isn't marketing, but heading up the press operation. We've had these discussions before and Maryam and Sandra can't do their marketing tasks unless Robin is told to butt out and keep to her public relations tasks. Gracia isn't doing anything about it, in spite of promises to Maryam, and so we have these new ads with a sour note. I suspect they are a Robin product, but I do not know that.
    Sooner or later, this has got to be resolved. The military would never tolerate this dysfunction in the chain of command because it screws up military operations. They go overboard to keep the chain in command straight and tidy because lives depend on it being that way. Gannett doesn't, and allows someone like Robin to wander from her office into other activities of the company.

  13. Robyn thinks she is a marketing whiz from her short tenure at sprint. Ill have to agree with earlier poster, if we had visionary senior leaders, this woman would be merely overseeing poorly executed news releases of gannett publisher promotions. Unfortunately, there are more of her ilk throughout the CP and USA Today.

  14. If it bleeds, it leads. If a tag line sell a new ad, do it.

  15. Maryam only THINKS she is running the company for now and certainly likes to act like it. Best be careful David L. Hunke as she has her sights set on you as soon as she can stick more knives into your back when you are not looking.


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