Best Places to Work 2012

Mr Youth Is No. 2 on Ad Age's Best Places to Work List

Shop Thrives by Picking the Best of the Best and Embracing the Conflict That Sometimes Results

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At Manhattan marketing agency Mr. Youth, Founder-CEO Matt Britton is not interested in your CV.

"I don't read résumés; they don't tell the story to me," Mr. Britton said. "I'm careful to say we have a no-résumés policy because we get a lot of them, but I don't look at them. I trust my intuition."

That's largely because the youth-marketing agency uses the college programs it has become famous for recruiting from. Mr. Youth finds students who are interested in marketing to evangelize for clients such as Microsoft and Coca-Cola. If they manage a successful campaign, they can secure internships, which can lead to full-time jobs.

"Those entry-level candidates go on to manage the thousands of kids they used to be themselves," said Mr. Britton. "It's been an amazing way to bring people in at the entry level. If you can pull off an amazing project both online and offline, join us."

This is Mr. Youth's second year on Ad Age 's Best Places to Work list, and a culture where people are close to the work has contributed to that accomplishment. It has been tough for the 105-person agency (which was acquired by U.K. digital agency LBi in November for $40 million) to manage culture through its 10 years of growth.

Recently, as Mr. Youth shifted from handling tactical projects to having longer-term relationships with clients, there has been a culture clash between legacy employees with expertise in street -team, guerrilla and Facebook marketing, and new hires from agencies such as Ogilvy and Tribal DDB.

So what do you do? Embrace conflict and go from there, according to Mr. Britton. "There was a turf war, since they were different, he said. "But I've learned that that 's necessary."

One of Mr. Britton's rules is to grab exceptional people, no matter their pedigree. "There's only so many great people and A-players in the industry," he said. "When great people come about we always bring them on."

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