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It won't exactly be business as usual for Atlanta agencies located within the downtown Olympic Ring-facing everything from traffic jams to a bicycle marathon.

But most expressed confidence that their prior planning and current enthusiasm for the Games will overcome all obstacles. They also noted that the 17-day sports extravaganza will provide an opportunity to entertain clients.

Flex-time and high-tech are helping the agencies keep their doors open.

"We are surrounded by the electricity of the Olympics, which has energized our agency," said Kurt Tausche, exec VP-director of creative services at Tausche Martin Lonsdorf.

"Obviously, our workplace will be affected by the Olympics. Because of the transportation problems, some of our employees will be housed with clients, some will work at home and some will come in before 7:30 a.m. and leave early in the afternoon," Mr. Tausche said. "Some of our unused lower-floor space is being leased by GM as a hospitality area."


In another work-related adjustment, "We have a TV campaign that will be shot out of town due to the Olympics," he said.

While John Ames, senior partner-general manager of Ogilvy & Mather's Atlanta office, is taking a vacation during the Games, the rest of his agency will be working and taking part in the celebrations.

"We are encouraging our people to participate in the events, and at least 19 members of our staff are volunteers," he said. "We are closing the office the three Fridays during the Games so the staff can enjoy the festivities, and will work flex-hours of 7 a.m. to 3 p.m."

"Most of our clients are aware of our plans, since we arranged meetings and production schedules in advance," Mr. Ames said. "We had six years to plan around the Games."

Mr. Ames added: "We also bought a number of Olympic packages, which we are sharing with our partners from other cities, and we are turning one of our floors into a hospitality area for our clients, agency partners and their clients."

Denzil Strickland, president-creative director of Cole Henderson Drake, reported that his employees are being equipped with pagers, cell phones and faxes. Also, those who live in the suburbs will work from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.


"We arranged our client meetings and production schedules before the Olympics," he noted. "However, we are playing it by ear, since we've never had an Olympics before and do not know what to expect."

James Pringle, chairman-CEO of Pringle Dixon Pringle, is optimistic that business will go on as usual, even with earlier hours and staff being encouraged to take vacation and other time off. His wife, Jan, is an Olympic volunteer in charge of non-credential media.

Fitzgerald & Co. will be closed on July 31-when the bicycle marathon passes its offices.

"We sent letters to our clients informing them of our hours and numbers-cell phones, beepers, faxes, etc.," said CEO David Fitzgerald.

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