Ad Age's ninth annual Small Agency Conference, which took place Tuesday and Wednesday in Los Angeles, provided loads of inspiration and practical advice for the 300-plus attendees who came from as far away as Alaska and Sydney.
The second-day lineup was bookended by laughs and tears. Anselmo Ramos, one of the founders of WPP shop David who recently set out to open independent agency Gut, kicked off the morning with a slightly absurdist, but ultimately inspiring talk on why he decided to go indie. In the afternoon, the venerable Lee Clow, chairman of TBWAMedia Arts Lab and director of media arts at TBWA Worldwide, gave an affecting look back on the legacy of his agency, Jay Chiat and Steve Jobs. There was plenty of substance in between, including a particularly eye-opening, no-B.S. talk from former 4As leader Nancy Hill.
DiMassimo Goldstein Chief Creative Officer Tom Christmann, whose passion for drawing came from watching his artist father Mongo create for everything from t-shirts to vans, captured some of the best moments in sketches. We share some of them below.
Here's Ramos on why he decided to go indie. (Reason 1: It's been his dream since college. Reason 2: He thinks the best work is done by indies.)