Agency brief: One for your nostalgia

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What was your pre-agency summer job? Firstborn CEO Dan LaCivita worked at a magic shop, where delivered balloons in Blues Clues and pink gorilla costumes.
What was your pre-agency summer job? Firstborn CEO Dan LaCivita worked at a magic shop, where delivered balloons in Blues Clues and pink gorilla costumes. Credit: Photo by Andy Cross/The Denver Post via Getty Images

You may have noticed a little thing going around on Twitter this week in which reporters were sharing "Jobs I had before journalism."

I try not to navel-gaze too terribly much on Twitter (unless it's on the various ways in which Chicago hot dogs are superior to New York's sad attempts), so I thought I'd turn it around on you fine folks this week: What was your pre-agency summer job and what did it teach you about the ad world?

Laura Maness, CEO of Havas NY worked at a TCBY one summer and was robbed (which she says taught her to be "unafraid and fearless" and to "stay cool under pressure"). Arnold CEO Kiran Smith sold Cutco knives, where she says she learned how to convince people to try something the didn't know they needed. Preacher partner and chief creative Rob Baird delivered ice to rural Texas convenience stores and bars, which he says taught him not to wait too long to jump on the task at hand (ice melts!). Firstborn senior VP and executive creative director Dave Snyder dug ditches in the desert of Las Vegas for a summer job at the water district.

"First, it taught me that I didn't want to do that," he says. That, and discipline, skill and what hard work looks like.

Firstborn CEO Dan LaCivita worked at a magic shop, where he'd dress up in Blues Clues and pink gorilla costumes and deliver balloons to birthday parties, where he quickly learned: "Wearing a ridiculous costume in the middle of the summer, singing happy birthday at kids' parties teaches you that all humans can be humbled. And that it's hot as fuck in those costumes," he says.

Jeremy Cesarec, strategy director at Planet Propaganda, worked for a telemarketing outfit that "looking back," he says, "was clearly a scam."

"I was a relatively wide-eyed suburban kid, and learned a lot about artful persuasion from the middle-aged parolees who were the stars of the operation," he says. "It turns out that being able to quickly read your audience and adapt your message was a core skill for a career in advertising too."

John Besmer, partner and CMO at Planet Propaganda, learned as a camp counselor one summer to "never underestimate the power of a tale well-told." ("After scary-story night, half the kids in the cabin would end up utilizing the plastic sheets in their bunks," he says.)

William Richmond-Watson, founder and chief creative at Watson & Company, was a summer intern for the "Affordable Art Fair" when he was 16, where he learned how to translate artists' stories to better connect with their audience, and informed his early understanding about building brands.

One more: Terri & Sandy co-founder and CEO Terri Meyer worked at a local paint store. She painted a "cool huge sun" on the floor of her home's basement. "I informed my parents that they could never sell the house because I would never leave the sun," she says. "Guess I learned at a very young age what it truly means to be attached to your work."

(If you love these as much as I did, check out our 2011 story about former summer jobs, in which former Ad Ager Rupal Parekh wrote about ComScore CEO Bryan Wiener, then at 360i, who was a Kool-Aid mascot after college, and former Martin CEO John Adams, who was a gravedigger. You know what they say: So nice we had to write it twice!)

We could keep this summer-themed section going until winter, probably, but this former summer babysitter (the best in the neighborhood, better believe it) will put a stop to it here. Read on for this week's not-so-brief agency news.

Doctor, doctor, give me the views

CityMD (you know, that place you go on a Sunday when you get a weird heat rash and your doctor's office is closed, not that we'd know anything about that) has picked Terri & Sandy to lead strategic and creative campaign development following a review. The urgent-care provider plans to work with the independent agency on an integrated brand campaign and creative platform to market its more than 100 locations, with EGC Group handling media. CityMD previously handled development of communications efforts in-house.

Is that a fever ...

... Or is it even more hot medical-related agency news? MedStar Health, a healthcare provider in the Maryland and D.C. region, has picked MDC Partners' Doner as its agency of record. The agency will oversee strategy, creative and production for the provider, which has 10 hospitals, a home health agency and more than 300 urgent care, physician practice and other care sites. The company previously worked with AB&C Creative Intelligence. Bajkowski & Partners led the search.

DAN scoops up indie Argentina agency

Dentsu Aegis Network announced this week that it is acquiring Global Mind, an independent agency in Argentina. Following the acquisition, Global Mind and its 120 employees will become part of iProspect. Terms were not disclosed. Of the acquisition, Philippe Seignol, president of iProspect for Latin America, said in a statement: "The pace and increasing complexity of the digital economy in Argentina and across Latin America highlighted the need for us to scale our capabilities in business performance marketing."

Beecoming more of a consultancy

Omnicom-owned Sparks & Honey has promoted Camilo La Cruz to the role of chief strategy officer, where he'll focus on offering clients a better view of cultural shifts, consumer behavior and potential disruptions. La Cruz calls the expansion into transformation practices and advanced analytics products "a natural step for our young organization."

We remember ...

On a more serious note, today we're remembering Patrick Lemarchand, who died late last month in Naples, Florida, at the age of 69. In his career, Lemarchand was a chairman and CEO of the North American operations of Havas Advertising's Diversified Agencies Group as well as a chairman and CEO of Atlas Editions. He was born in Rouen, France, to Christian Lemarchand and Suzanne Guellain, and received a degree from Ecole des Cadres du Commerce et des Affaires Economiques in Paris, France, then went on to work in the U.S., France, Canada and Japan.

He is survived by hiw wife, Mireille; his daughters, Flavie Lemarchand-Wood and Gaelle Dudley; his sons-in-law, Paul Wood and Alex Dudley; and his grandchildren, Lauren, Hayden, Jack, Roan and Claire.

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