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Blind Item

Blind Items: Clogged Toilets and Intimate Relations

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Hello and happy hump day, readers.

Now is the time when we dig back through our tips archive to find the claims that no one in their right mind would ever confirm. First: according to another one of those repeat tipsters, a certain New York-based agency’s offices had a bathroom problem earlier this month:

“…the stalls are overflowing with poop.”

If this super-relevant rumor is true, it would seem that the agency in question and M&C Saatchi London recently dealt with opposing problems: the UK employee didn’t flush while the other agency’s employees couldn’t flush. At least the issue doesn’t seem to be gender-specific.

On to more important things…

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Blind Item: They Stole Our Deck!

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Here’s an agency ethics question from a reader to go along with the almost completely accurate stock photo above.

Reader’s former agency colleague has since moved on to a bigger gig as a consultant overseas. Good enough — but when this colleague shared the notes someone took from a recent presentation on the old social media, reader noticed that:

“…the presentation contained content that was lifted, word-for-word, from the old agency’s deck.”

Reader knows this because reader has a copy of the deck to which he/she refers from time to time…for reference, not as a source for new “thought leadership.”

The question: should reader call out former colleague or just sit in silent judgment of an industry professional swiping someone else’s work and calling it their own?

Blind Item: The Dreaded Drug Test

don't let the door hit you on the way out

If you’re hungry for a bit of dirt, this classic from the Blind Item file contains some facts about a certain mid-sized agency owned by a certain major holding company in a certain city that may or may not be New York. The agency:

  • Compiles “dossiers” on the bad behavior of its own executives
  • Uses random drug tests to get rid of unwanted employees (if they refuse to take the test, the axe falls)
  • Gets rid of “disappeared” victims by cleaning out their offices in the middle of the workday with no warning to co-workers
  • Has far more than your usual share of paranoia, backstabbing and tests of loyalty to top leaders

There’s more.

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Blind Item: Enough! Here’s Some Beef

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Ah, fuck it, we’re honestly tired of the bullshit, so let’s go back to roots. And, of course, naysayers we have to keep this shit anonymous.  We’re just being respectful, people. Feel free free to draw your own math. We’ve been here a billion times. Thank you and welcome to the party, pal:

“As a [redcacted} 'lifer' I feel it my duty to report that [redacated] previously head of the central region and recently promoted to CEO USA has now lost the confidence and respect of us lowly employees, He presided over the disgaceful debacle with the agency chasing Motorola whilst still working for Samsung – corporate greed and ego all wrapped up in a utter diabolical impact for many of my collegues.And also he presided over the loss of our flagship client, Kellogg  who famously asked for [redacted] to never attend another meeting with them after disrespectfully eating and talking with his mouth full during a presentation.

Fact is [redacted] has no inter-personal skills, is absent/distant to most of us and he simply doesn’t support creativity = nor actually understand brands. those of us who haven’t yet been laid off due to his leadership are expecting him to be axed due the dramatic downturn under [redacted's] watch = at least that is the word in the halls at [redacted].

 

Care to guess who?

Blind Item: Care to Guess Which Agency is Behind this Job Listing?

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From the Spy line, one tipster asks, “Is this a joke or is Don Draper hiring?” Seems pretty standard from the get-go until you get towards the finish line, which could seem Draper-esque. Not sure if this is the normal job description nowadays for an agency executive administrative assistant but seems a bit much, no? Anyways, we checked the link sent to us and it appears legit. You be the judge:

  • “Manage the inbox of the General Manager, file and deal with responses as requested

  • Maintain calendar and proactively work to resolve scheduling overlap or changes at short notice

  • Organize meetings and events

  • Type letters, memos, presentations, faxes, meeting minutes, etc. as required

  • Make and manage travel arrangements using BCD’s web travel portal

  • Create and maintain an organized filing system that is up to date

  • Expenses – maintain and settle in a timely manner

  • Update key contact information regularly and have on hand for quick reference

  • Produce minutes and presentation documents as required

  • Attend requested meetings and manage action points

  • Answer all telephone calls professionally

  • Make decisions to action call requests appropriately in the absence of the GM

  • Ensure arrangements for the General Manager’s visitors are taken care of

  • Ensure internal and external communications are handled in a professional and mature manner

  • Assist with the General Manager’s personal life, managing and anticipating needs outside of work including but not limited to: family duties (managing kids’ calendars, keeping passports & important documents up to date, working with spouse on miscellaneous projects, picking up children on occasion), organizing house duties (repairs, a/v technical issues, home purchases), managing all finances & cash flow, and personal errands as needed

  • Additional administrative tasks as requested”

Blind Item: Is Holiday Party Time Dead?

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From our distant view, it appears that the agency holiday party scene is a bit quieter this year than most. Then again, maybe we’ve just lost our luster, but this little note from a notable agency was sent our way from a seemingly distressed soul who prefaced his or her tip with “Christmas is cancelled at <redacted>.” We’re not sure if things are more low-key this year, but is your agency sending memos like this? Perhaps our tipster is being a bit oversensitive, but feel free to chime in.

“This is to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving and, as it coincides, Chanukah.

To remind, we are closed tomorrow and Friday  in observance. As the roads are slick  and storms persist please use your discretion in departing this afternoon, but safety first is the primary concern.

You may have noticed that we have yet to send a Hold the Date for the Holiday Party. Given how short the post-Thanksgiving period will be, only three weeks, we’d like to postpone the party until later, in 2014 when we hope to have some good things to share and time to enjoy it.

So for now, rest up over  Thanksgiving, know that we’ll have a sprint to the finish line and after the  break can return to a New Year and a chance to celebrate the possibilities.

Happy Thanksgiving.”

Blind Item: SF Management Supervisor Crowdsourcing Love

Ahh yes, what better time to dust off the ol’ blind item category than with this little ditty that showed up in the tips box last night. A management supervisor at a certain fairly well-known San Francisco agency appears to be on the hunt for a husband, and by golly, she’ll crowdsource if she has to in order to land one. Is she “wookin pa nub” in all the wrong places? Well, only time will tell we suppose. As you’ll see below, there’s $10,000 up for grabs if it all works in the end. We’ve redacted the name, though, as we don’t to add insult to injury if this idea backfires (we’ve been told though that this is “dead serious” and that she’s “already gotten 100 potential dates”), so read on and take your guesses.

“Hi to my most favorite friends,

Remember that time I offered you $10,000 to find me a husband? Me neither. But we both will in about one minute and forty five seconds.

I just finished the book “Lean In.” And whether you’re a fan of this feminist social movement is neither here nor there. What is here is an idea that came to me after reading this book. I thought, “I get it, I need to sit at the table. I need to be deeply committed to becoming a leader.” Got it. I’m on it. And then I thought, “It’s 11PM on a Sunday night, I’m single, I just had to squirt dish soap on leftover pizza so I wouldn’t eat 2 more slices and this is the second self-help book I’ve read this month.”

And then it was as if Sheryl Sandberg and Patti Stanger bitch slapped me across the face with a soaking wet “stop being single” towel. If I wanted a new job, would I sit in the lobby of the employer’s building just hoping that someone would offer me my dream job? No. If I want a husband, will he just show up out of thin air and ask me to hang out with him for the rest of his life? No. Okay—maybe if I looked like Kate Upton. But I don’t. (However, in 2005 the freshman class of my sorority did say that Charlize Theron was my doppelganger. Yes, we might have been hazing them. Yes, they might have been blind folded. But they said it.) So yeah, I’m not Kate Upton. You get the point.

And so I’m writing you today because I’ve decided to make an aggressive action plan on finding that one fella that I get to hang out with forever. And I’ve recognized two things that are important to this plan: (1) a great percentage of marriages are the result of introductions by friends and (2) most people do not give a lot of thought about introducing one of their single friends to another one of their single friends. I get it. Introducing me to my husband is just not high on your to-do list. But I think I have an idea that might change that…

I will personally give ten thousand dollars to the friend who introduces me to my husband.

Here is how the referral program works:
Step 1: You set me up on a date with a man
Step 2: I marry that man
Step 3: I give you $10,000 on my wedding day

I know you’re thinking that this is nuts. Just plain crazy. “[Redacted], you can find a husband without dishing out $10,000.” Well for starters, thank you – I’m flattered. And secondly, I totally agree. But the reality is finding a husband always costs money. I just collected 1,000 insider points from Sephora and this isn’t because I buy beauty products to impress my 4-year old nephew.

To substantiate this offer, I have the complete support and admiration from my parents—who are both included on this email.

So, remember that time I offered you $10,000 to find me a husband? Me too.

Always and forever,
[redacted]”

 

Blind Item: Nothing Like an Agency Salary Freeze

It’s time to dust off the blind item category once again as we received a couple of tips on this and are still checking in on things, but since we’re getting the cold shoulder, figure it’s best to leave it our readership to decide. Here’s the last word from the Spy line that we received over the weekend. Feel free to weigh in. Names have obviously been redacted, but it does involve a holding company you’re all familiar with and one employee (at least) who seems to have had it.

“[Redacted} ad agencies continue to be on salary freezes. Some employees haven't had a raise in 4-6 years. [Redacted] profits continue to rise, as does executive compensation. But for 95% of employees, wages have actually gone down when you factor in real increases like medical, dental premium increases, etc.”

Hmm, maybe it was that pesky payroll tax that played into the mix? Whatever the case, we’ll keep looking into this.

Blind Item: Frustrated Employee Sounds Off on CMO

It’s that time again to dust off the ol’ blind item category. While the overall tone of this note gives one the sense that someone’s trying to light a fire,  you can pretty much tell that the author is on their way out the door one way or another. Anyhow, this alleged note sent by a frustrated staffer to his/her CMO at a rather well-known national retail chain mentions a couple of names that we’ve redacted, but you get the gist that whoever typed this up intended to go out guns blazing. Read on and feel free to weigh in if you’d like.

“What are you doing? No, really, what are you doing? Do you enjoy having a department that scratches their head at your every move…a department that’s mystified that you decided to retain [redacted] and [redacted], the 2 most life sucking innovation-lacking, uninspiring, micro-managing sociopaths, but eliminating [redacted], after two other well liked and respected Sr. Leaders leave? Is this what your consulting background has taught you? If so, it’s a waste of an education.

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Blind Item: Drunken Email from Above Edition

We’ve been hearing about this since the weekend, and now a tipster has sent us a screen grab of an all-staff email that certainly appears to have been delivered by a certain higher-up at a certain Canadian agency. Apologies for the small image size, but we had to do a little trimming in order to protect the innocent and/or possibly drunk involved in this note, which came with the subject line, “It’s 3:37 am in Sweden.” We”ll leave it you to squint and play Columbo to figure this one out.

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