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Diane Dietz hunts, kills 160over90 branding deal, then writes its obituary

Back in May 2015 Register Guard reporter Diane Dietz published five stories on UO’s inane 160over90 “What the If” branding campaign, and the administration’s efforts to hide what it cost. (One strategy was to run the payments through the secretive UO Foundation, just as Paul Weinhold and Vin Lananna are doing with the 2021 IAAF track meet.) Links here.

Tonight she’s posted the deal’s obituary, here:

University of Oregon cancels high-profile branding/advertising contract

The University of Oregon has pulled out of its high-profile three-year, $3.4 million contract with Philadelphia branding and advertising firm 160over90, and is redirecting money toward university academic and research goals, the UO said Wednesday. …

UO administrators negotiated a Jan. 1 end to the contract, which cost the UO roughly $40,000 in penalties but saved $400,000 to $500,000 in further spending, Henley said in an e-mail. The UO has paid 160over90 about $3 million in all.

Lots of interesting stuff about Schill’s other realignment efforts in her story as well.


  1. former business student 01/13/2016

    I felt from the get-go that this was the wrong approach. You cannot simply rebrand UO by building a flashy (and hard to use) website and embarking on an expensive ad campaign. Also, it doesn’t help when the campaign itself wasn’t very memorable.

    I despise this form of fake-vertising. Not all marketing is baloney. However, it is when you are selling something you can’t give them.

    • Daffy duck 01/14/2016

      Yes, but the decision also comes with the usual false hype about the efficiencies of putting everything under one central persons thumb, in this case the newly hired Henley, who surprise, made as his fist recommendation o pull everything n under his thumb. Well, scepter for athletics, admissions, enrollment so and student life. That leaves academic units and various other pieces? If we all bought exactly the same computer, we could get them cheaper. Well, maybe, but? Good luck

      • Anonymous 01/14/2016

        I doubt it was only his idea. If you have not noticed yet centralizing his been a theme from the top. Get ready.

  2. bugaboo 01/14/2016

    Information Services is already unable to provide the services well that they are tasked with. Unsure how giving them even more services will improve that.

  3. honest Uncle Bernie 01/14/2016

    “broad decentralization across the university has weakened the UO’s abilities to achieve administrative coordination”

    A possible translation: “we are seeking more centralized administrative control.” (Comment: as if UO has not had enough control freaks in the central administration.)

    “There is a vast amount of duplication, redundancy, waste,” [Schill] said. “We’re going to address that next.”

    There’s a vast amount of waste here? Compared, say, to the University of Chicago Law School? I have my doubts. I’m kind of put off by this statement. Do I see a lot of waste in my department? No, unless you count senior faculty who do little teaching and spend much of their time scheming to help themselves. A lot like what the cluster plan will bring.

    And — is saying that there is vast waste an invitation for the state to give us more money, or even less than they do now?

    Finally — I’m always skeptical that centralization will bring efficiency. I certainly don’t think it’s likely to bring better support services.

    I don’t get a good feeling from this.

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