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GSD&M

GSD&M Really Wants to Hook Up with HomeAway

Vacation rental marketplace HomeAway, they of pulled Super Bowl ad fame, is getting some love it appears from fellow Austin-based operation GSD&M. A tipster sent us the above image that apparently shows plenty of agency staffers making a rather noticeable plea for the HomeAway account across the street from the latter company’s headquarters. HomeAway had been working with another Austin shop, Vendor Inc., which of course was responsible for the infamous “smushed baby” Super Bowl spot. Just two weeks ago, though, HomeAway announced that it was starting fresh and searching for a new creative agency (call us shocked). So, will this outdoor stunt by GSD&M work in its favor? It looks like HomeAway is expected to announce its new agency partner by month’s end, and GSD&M has been in the conversation, so guess we’ll find out soon enough.

GSD&M Nabs ACL Biz

If you’re an agency, what better way to celebrate your birthday than with an account win? With the candles set to be blown in honor of its 40th anniversary next month, GSD&M has announced that it’s been named creative agency of record for Austin City Limits, which is being heralded as “the longest running music show in TV history” and one we watch at midnight when SNL gets terrible (so, most of the time). Wait, two hometown entities bonding, you say? Call us shocked, but ACL’s GM Tom Gimbel says in a statement, “GSD&M has deeps roots in Austin and has long been a supporter and contributor to the arts community. They are the ideal partner for us and bring a lot of passion and experience to this relationship.” The creative work was previously handled in-house. Here’s one performance from the public TV show above.

Jay Russell Returns to GSD&M

Guess there’s no place like home. As wonderfully named commenter BootsyCollins noted in our post on Omid Farhang yesterday, Jay Russell had indeed headed back to Austin to serve as VP/managing group creative director at GSD&M (he is one of four managing GCDs overseeing the creative department at the agency). Actually, it seems like it’s been in the works for quite a while, but nonetheless, the Idea City’s former BMW creative lead harbors no ill will towards his former Boulder-based employer, saying, “Crispin is [an] amazing place, but GSD&M is where my heart is. The agency is putting all of the right pieces in place to really take off in the coming years.”

During his time as a CD at CP+B, Russell managed the Microsoft Windows account and helped launched the Windows Phone internationally. Prior to originally joining GSD&M, Russell worked on Bud Light and other business at DDB, served as a CD at Square One on the Miller Brewing biz and was a CD on Nationwide Insurance at TM Advertising.

We Hear: GSD&M Alums Start New Agency

The rumor mill keeps churning like butter today as the Spy line tells us that three ex-GSD&M-ers—Jonathan Silverstein, John Trahar and Karen Jacobs-who we’ve been told have “all left at earlier times this year,” have started a new agency. Silverstein spent eight years at GSD&M as SVP, group account director, Trahar racked up 14 years of tenure and eventually served as SVP/GCD and Jacobs logged in six as SVP, head of production. Our tipsters’ claims that they may have poached clients from their former employer remain unfounded at this point. Maybe Jacobs’ LinkedIn status (above) gives us a clue (but not really).

 

Marshalls Consolidates Creative Duties at GSD&M

Well, here’s some good news to report from the GSD&M camp. The Austin-based agency has been named digital creative partner for discount–er, sorry, “off-price”–retailer Marshalls, which we always had trouble distinguishing from TJ Maxx (well, they’re both TJX companies after all). Anyhow, it was a rather convenient move considering that GSD&M has served as Marshalls’ creative AOR since 2008. Regarding the brand’s decision to go with GSD&M, Marshalls VP of marketing Emily Trent says, “GSD&M has been great partners in bringing the Marshalls vision to life. This vision coupled with their experience in the retail and digital space made it the right decision to move all digital, print and broadcast creative under one roof.”

The Marshalls digital biz had previously been handled by Hill Holliday.

GSD&M Starts Ad School

Could GSD&M now stand for “Good Schooling is Dank and Magical?” Just like the peeps at 72andSunny, the Austin-based agency formerly known colloquially as “Idea City” is entering the realm of academia with its new school, the Austin Creative Department.

According to the school’s website, the ACD tries to distinguish its curriculum, price ($750 per course) and teaching-style from others in that classes are “taught by senior-level working professionals, not by full-time ‘teachers.’” We’ve also heard that the schools founder and director, GSD&M CD Will Chau (pictured) intends to bring people from all over the nation as guest teachers and lecturers. Aside from a few photographers, the current list of those participating in the school is solely the GSD&M cast, so we’re eager to see who else Chau has up his sleeve.

Classes start in June, and find out enrollment information here.

GSD&M Gets Bomb Threat

Well, this is a bit more serious than an insult in the old comment thread. Today, a receptionist at GSD&M’s HQ in Austin reportedly received a bomb threat that forced staff to evacuate for 30 minutes while police investigated. A spokeswoman at Austin’s biggest ad agency told the local paper that it was back to business as usual, though, by early afternoon. The police are still on the case to find out who was the idiot and/or prankster behind the call.

Luke Sullivan Leaving GSD&M for Savannah

After spending eight years at GSD&M, where he currently holds the title of GCD, Luke Sullivan will be leaving the agency to become the chair of the ad department at Savannah College of Art & Design this September.  On his Hey Whipple Blog, Sullivan writes:

“In the meantime, GSDM continues to employ me as I hand off duties to a really cool new person joining the agency in May (don’t think they’ve officially announced who it is yet). Plus I will be helping to recruit junior teams for a few open posts we have.” We’ll surely be checking in to find out who this “cool new person is.”

Anyhow, prior to GSD&M, Sullivan was chief creative officer at WestWayne and spent ten years as a copywriter at Fallon before that.

GSD&M Cuts Approximately 10

Business blog The Statesman reports that thanks to the loss of Norwegian Cruise Line, which is now in Martin Agency’s hands, GSD&M has cut about 10 staffers. The Austin-based agency, which currently houses just under 500 employees, also cited “organizational changes” as a reason for the layoffs. NCL as you know ended its six-year relationship with GSD&M in early January.

As for tipsters saying that the agency is bringing in income by subletting space to the likes of Gas Pedal (moved in last summer), Porter Novelli (an Omnicom firm) and STG (designed the Idea City building), we’ve been told that GSD&M “uses their services” and the idea was to “build it like a city.”

Update: We’ve been told by sources that one of the 10 (or close to it) let go was Greg Lane, who oversaw the creative department from an operational standpoint.

GSD&M Unveils New Site

Now that GSD&M’s gotten the “Idea City” out of its system and premiered some new work for Goodyear, the Austin-based agency has unveiled its new site that helps celebrate its 40th anniversary. Not the best nor the worst we’ve seen, the new GSDM.com features an interactive map of GSD&M staffers’ favorite places in town among other things and will be updated “constantly” with local and industry news according to the agency.  The staff in fact takes center stage on the site, with everyone from creative directors down to compliance accountants getting some love. Well, at the very least, the GSD&M’s revamped web destination may come in handy when it’s time for yours truly to venture down to Texas for SXSW as the agency says it will offer panel listings, event info and what not leading up to the festival.

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