Gardner Shutters Maiden Lane Shop

Ad Guru Closes Latest Incarnation of Decades-Old Shop

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SAN FRANCISCO (Adage.com) -- Maiden Lane, the latest incarnation of the 30-year-old San Francisco advertising agency led by political ad guru Bob Gardner, has shuttered its offices.
After 30 years, Maiden Lane has ceased operations.
After 30 years, Maiden Lane has ceased operations.

"We are closed," said Mr. Gardner, president and founder. Following six difficult months, Maiden Lane "ceased to exist as an entity as of Friday" when remaining employees were dismissed. The shop has about 50 employees at its peak in recent years. The agency's assets are in the process of being sold off, he said.

'Long run'
"It was a long run for an independent and not the way I expected to end it," he said.

Mr. Gardner, who founded the original shop in April 1977 as Gardner Communications, reformulated the agency into Gardner Geary Coll & Young over the years as the result of mergers and acquisitions of new employees.

In July 2005, he renamed the shop Maiden Lane and brought in a young team of executives including John Maxham, chief creative officer, Christine Huang, chief marketing officer, and Doug Powell, media. All three have since parted. Ms. Huang left in early July, just after she headed the pitch that won the $20 million Round Table Pizza account. Mr. Maxham left last week. Mr. Powell left previously to join another San Francisco shop, Swirl.

All declined to comment.

Clients at the agency, according to its website, include Fisher-Price, Del Monte Foods' New Ventures Group, Delta Dental, The Examiner, Williams-Sonoma and AARP.
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