New York's Berlin Cameron & Partners employs the industry's most diligent movers and shakers...and you can take that literally. For the fifth time in two years, Andy and Co. are moving offices, this time to 1370 Broadway.
It's not that they can't make up their minds; they just keep hiring all these new employees. The agency was listed by Entrepreneur magazine as the 30th-fastest growing company in the US (and it's the only one on the list that's not a technical firm).
The now 50-person shop doubled in size over the summer, prompting the latest move into a spanking new space which chairman Andy Berlin describes as looking "like the inside of the space ship from The Day the Earth Stood Still." And this time, he's prepared for more growth: the new digs can handle another workforce expansion. "Of course," cautions Berlin, "we don't know what's going to happen. God knows, there could be a sixth move."
We suggest pitching a moving company.
Kick. Punch. Yell. Be at peace.
The Tucker Partnership in New York City held its first annual `Creativity Spa' on February 10th, and we swear we had nothing to do with it. No facials and manicures here; the one day event's purpose, in the words of `Master Certfied Coach' David Silberkleit, who offers these programs, is "Talking about creativity... Where creativity lives in the body, what thwarts it, and how to best release and shape it in a team." The workshops, which Silberkleit tailors to his clients, typically involve yoga and martial arts (including "yelling, punching and kicking" to "dislodge emotions that block the creative flow.") Then, of course, there's drumming, which challenges participants to "find their own rhythm." Teams also work together to "create a unique song." The point of it all is, says Silberkleit, that "participants learn to challenge their entire paradigm of creativity."
Bill Tucker, president/CEO of the agency, says, "I wanted to recharge everyone's batteries. It had nothing to do with advertising. It had to do with the creative spirit, which is more than just putting words and pictures on paper." The agency was semi-closed for the day, running on a skeleton crew. Says Tucker, "I sent an email to clients telling them about the event. I was just hoping they wouldn't be whispering `The old man's lost it'."
When Core in St. Louis announced it would be hosting its fifth annual post-Addy party, account executive Jeff Graham sent out a press release that was essentially a solicitation for monkeys. "Anyone in the St. Louis Advertising community who has access to well-trained, costumed monkeys that might be available to work the Post-Addy party is encouraged to contact Core," reads the release. Sure, the Addys take place at the Living World, a permanent exhibit that's part of the St. Louis Zoo, but that's not why Graham wants monkeys, he reveals. "We just think monkeys are funny. You know, like that E*Trade spot."
So it's all a big joke? "Yeah, I was just screwing around," Graham confesses, "but we did call a monkey wrangler to inquire. Unfortunately, he told us the monkeys get tired throwing feces all day, so they generally go to bed by 7 pm. Too bad; that's when the show starts."
Turns out Graham has a habit of doctoring up all his press releases, and they tend toward the absurd. "I used to spend hours writing these things [until] I realized that people only read the first sentence," he says. "So screw it. Now I write them for myself."
One of Graham's recent releases reads, "Jason Stamp has joined Core as an art director. Due to Stamp's complete and total lack of previous experience in advertising, his new duties will include taking orders from other art directors and emptying the trash."
Sounds like just another monkey to us.
Deutsch goes Divine
If John Waters' next film is about a 300-pound transvestite working at an advertising agency, you can blame the folks at Deutsch/NY. Waters was the first speaker in the agency's lecture series. Deutsch staffers packed into `the pit,' an unfinished common area in the agency's new offices located in New York's meat packing district, to see and hear Waters deliver his 90-minute speech, entitled `Shock Value.' Waters discussed his notorious career in the film industry, most notably his creation of some of the most hated films of all times, including Pink Flamingos and Polyester. He talked about his experiences working with such diverse acting talent as Divine, Johnny Depp, Rikki Lake, Patty Hearst and Traci Lords. Waters, an ordained minister, told his audience how he baptized Lords before her wedding. He also mused on living in Los Angeles, where thanks to plastic surgery, "nobody looks younger, they all just look really shocked."
Says ECD Kathy Delaney, "Everyone here works so hard and invests so much time, we thought we could give back some inspiration."
Just for the halibut
Some agency execs do business on the golf course. At Russell and Herder Advertising and Public Relations in Brainerd, Minnesota, the dealmaking sport of choice also involves holes -- in the ice. R&H just opened a new conference center on top of 18-plus inches of frozen lake. The 3,500-pound, 8x16-foot fish house -- a seasonal structure that's taken down when the weather gets too warm -- is equipped with a plexiglass conference tabletop suspended by cables, a computer with a satellite Internet link, TV and VCR, phone, fax, propane heat, a bathroom, a sink, five fold-out cots, and eight fishing holes. What, no fridge? When asked if people really fish during a meeting, Geoff Gorvin, R&H's public relations manager, says "Oh, sure. We had a meeting last week with a big client and periodically someone would yell `Whoa!', lean over and haul up a fish."
Slam or slamdunk?
The sale of one of the last independent hot shops, Fallon McElligott and Duffy Design/Interactive, to French-owned Publicis, has set staffers' tongues a-waggin' about the agency's future. Prime among the concerns is what will happen to the Fallon/Duffy basketball team, the Flying Frattinis, named after "our beloved, revered office assistant Robert Frattini -- even though he isn't on the team," said FM/Duffy spokeswoman Rachael Holter.
Account executive and team captain Adam Benepe clarified what the takeover would mean for the basketballers in a company-wide e-mail. Here's an excerpt:
* We are not changing our name to Publicis Flying Frattinis.
* Kisses on the cheek do not replace high fives.
* Smoking is not required. We do not need to take up smoking to be on the team.
* No Frenchmen -- they talk funny, and as a rule they're horrible basketball players.
* No drama -- when we get fouled we don't have to flop over and lay on the ground and then chase the refs with exaggerated hand gestures.
What, no stereotypes about baguettes and body odor?
Sex to be had
Yeah, we thought that would get your attention. And that was exactly what Philadelphia agency Monsoon figured when it released TV spots with this remarkable tagline: "Wake up America, there's sex to be had."
The campaign, for local upscale sex shop the Mood, consisted of five :15s that were scheduled to run on the local cable system of Radius Communications.
On the day the spots were supposed to break, Radius announced it had been bought by Comcast, and informed Monsoon that the new parent refused to air the spots, despite a signed contract. Comcast felt the spots were too risque for television. They feature ordinary people doing ordinary things, but the VO suggests those things would be better with "some booty."
In one commercial, a guy in a car is shown getting highly agitated over being stuck in traffic, and the VO intones, "You wouldn't be so angry today if you'd gotten rear-ended last night."
After much debate, the two companies reached a compromise of sorts, wchich included the `sex' tag line being dropped altogether. But Monsoon ECD David Gensler is still bitter. "No doubt about it, Comcast is totally homophobic. They only accepted the ad with a man and a woman."
Odd. Isn't Philadelphia the city of brotherly love?