Friday, February 6, 2009

BBDO's Eric Silver going to DDB is only part of the story

You may have seen the story at Adweek.com yesterday saying that BBDO executive cd Eric Silver had departed, supposedly heading to sister shop DDB in "the top creative post" at the New York office. The office's chairman/chief creative officer is the (depending on who you ask) legendary Lee Garfinkel. But what looks like a fairly run-of-the-mill story about creative director musical chairs is actually a demonstration of the advertising industry coming unhinged. Since going up some time yesterday, the story has garnered some 145 comments, including name-calling not only on the individuals involved in the story, but on the ad industry itself. Some choice excerpts (I'm not vouching for accuracy of any of these, but only reprinting as an example of what you'll find if you go there):

From agencywonk:
About time they called Garfinkel what he is: a woefully underachieving CCO who hasn't produced anything noteworthy since his BBDO days

From an anonymous poster:
This is not a good fit. Eric is a nice guy and extremely talented, but he is a man-child. He will not be able to run an agency creatively. He doesn't have the patience for it. He has not made a career out of getting good work out of tough clients. He has made a name for himself by doing exceptional work for good clients. There is a world of difference between the two.

From Baffled Three:
Just when you thought Big Dumb Agencies couldn't get any bigger or any dumber... There just isn't much call anymore for agencies whose sole focus is the :30 second TV spot. Oh well, makes it that much easier for the rest of us.

From Disappointed:
...that people in our industry can stoop so low as to the comments made here. I am disappointed and embarrassed. How can we get paid for our talent or command respect when clients see garbage like what's been written here today. I hope one of you doesn't fall victim to the same scrutiny one day."

Thanks to Alan Wolk for tweeting this and bringing it to my attention, and for noticing that many of the commenters are referring to the comment thread as a blog. Weird.

10 comments:

George Parker said...

Cathy...
All good stuff. Lots of piss and vinegar.
I wish I had the IP rights to Big Dumb Agency (BDA)... It seems to be popping up all over the place.
Cheers/George

Catharine P. Taylor said...

thanks George.

by the way, didn't mean to suggest in my post that the story was easy to write...it takes a lot of reporting to nail this down...take my run-of-the-mill comment as taking into account the fact that we've read these kinds of stories many times in our lives, but trust me, everyone of these stories is hard to get....

TL said...

Here's another take away. The web is making Adweek relevant again. But as a forum for pissy comments, is that really what will keep them going? Where is the income going to come from?

Anonymous said...

Hasn’t the unhinging of the industry been apparent for years already? It’s interesting that the thread is such a contrast to the comments left for the story on Draftfcb’s management shifts – you’d think that agency would garner more hate. Perhaps the haters are getting tired. Oddly enough, no one is really commenting on the story itself. Rather, they’re unloading on individuals. The story just offered an opportunity to cut an ex-boss or whatever relationship the comment makers have with Garfinkel and Silver. BTW, doesn’t Omnicom have a policy prohibiting agencies in the network from recruiting executives from sister shops? The global network is notorious for keeping clients in the network; that is, when a client expresses unhappiness with a shop, Omnicom will serve up alternative shops in the network and virtually keep the client without a legitimate shootout (see PepsiCo work shifting to Goodby and Chiat). So it’s somewhat ironic to see a similar maneuver with Omnicom executives. Wonder if BBDO will protest.s

The Guy Who Wrote This said...

It's sad but it seems to be a prevailing trend amongst people in the creative industry and the anonymous nature of the internet.

Too often, it ends up turning into a character assassination piece, whether it's deserved or not.

I've also unfortunately run into a writer who referred in an article to the people commenting in the thread as "bloggers", which apparently now encompasses anyone who writes anything on anything else on the internet.

khonmanrak said...

All good stuff. Lots of piss and vinegar.
I wish I had the IP rights to Big Dumb Agency (BDA)... It seems to be popping up all over the place.


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