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Staffing Cuts at Hill Holliday

Hill_holliday_logoLast month, we broke the news that key Hill Holliday client Cadillac was “quietly talking to other agencies” before the account officially went to Lowe Campbell Ewald.

Tips about pending cuts began arriving soon after the news went live, and today we can confirm that the agency has let some staffers go over the past few days. Following a string of wildly inaccurate tips, we received a call and an official statement from an agency spokesperson, who placed the number of layoffs at less than five percent of the total Hill Holliday workforce.

Here’s the statement:

“We have recently made some necessary staffing adjustments to ensure the future success and growth of the agency. While it’s never easy to make hard decisions like this, we are confident these changes will better position us for continued success. Our industry is changing at a rapid pace, and like any responsible business we must adjust accordingly, and embrace that change as opportunity.”

According to Glassdoor, that “less than five percent” total includes between 25 and 50 employees, many of whom presumably spent time on the Cadillac account.

Tips vary on specifics: one reader tells us that cuts began in the HR department last week and another claims that management officially announced creative layoffs today. The latter also writes that a majority of those affected worked in the creative department.

Updates as we receive them.

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We Hear: Hill Holliday, W+K Discussing Merger?

“We hear” may not be the most appropriate category for this post; “we see, on Twitter” would be more accurate.

But it certainly looks like Karen Kaplan, CEO and chairman of Boston’s Hill Holliday, met with Wieden+Kennedy managing director Tom Blessington at Fenway Park to say goodbye to Derek Jeter this weekend.

Hill Holliday Merger

As to whether Kaplan’s merger mention is serious or not, it would make sense given the Cadillac account’s recent move from HH to Lowe Campbell Ewald and the subsequent disbanding of IPG’s Rogue unit.

It would also be particularly interesting because W+K remains independent while HH, as part of the IPG conglomerate, is a publicly traded entity.

Riney Creative Duo Spreads Luck of the Irish Across San Francisco


To get their hometown of San Francisco in the St. Patrick’s Day spirit, Riney ACDs EJ Slody and Alex Palomo are now sending out a drone carrying a bag of real four-leaf clovers “flying over key locations” in the city.


Dubbed the Good Luck Drone, the UAV will fulfill its mission of spreading just that over the city by flying to any destination given to it through Instagram. Visitors to can simply type a location on its flight map pic and the drone will fly to the destination and send you a pic or video to let you know that luck was spread to the desired location. The project has just started, so if you live in San Francisco, why not head on over to Instagram and give it a shot? It could give your St. Patrick’s Day an extra touch of drone-spread good fortune.

Yes, #Vegas is Handing Out Presidential Pardons Today

In honor of Presidents Day, the folks behind tourism are offering full presidential pardons for your long weekend debauchery. To get your Twitter-based absolution, just confess your sins and tweet #VegasPardon. Or if you just so happen to be at the Las Vegas airport today, you can get pardoned in person and start your shortened work week anew tomorrow.

Happy Valentine’s Day, from the ‘Ideas Man’


It seems our coverage of Floyd Hayes has apparently been with some disdain over the years but the self-proclaimed “Ideas Man” decided to turn negative into positive in honor of Valentine’s Day. We’ll keep this short since Hayes has touched a nerve or two over time. The man has decided to transform the negative comments he’s received on this here site and create the image above, which we couldn’t help but resist posting. Do you feel the love?

D&G Rings in 2014 with ‘The Gratitude Wall’

DnG GratitudeDavid&Goliath, perhaps most well-known for their Blake Griffin and now Jack McBrayer-co-starring spots for Kia, have decided to celebrate the new year a little differently. Instead of focusing on empty resolutions and self-improvement, they’ve created a “post-holiday card” thanking friends, family, clients and colleagues, which they’ve dubbed “The Gratitude Wall.”

David&Goliath invited employees to “appreciate and thank those who have helped us get to where we are today” via posts to Instagram, then assembled the Instagram images on The Gratitude Wall webpage. It’s a nice, positive message that D&G designed to “look back on our combined challenges and successes and to look ahead with a sincere thank you to all involved.” We appreciate the shift from the normal New Year’s naval gazing, new diets and resolutions that will be broken before February rolls around towards gratitude and appreciation. Plus, D&G can refresh the page with new photos next November for an easy Thanksgiving card.

If you need some affirmation that not all is wrong with the world this gloomy, snow-covered Friday, head on over to The Gratitude Wall for something unabashedly and straightforwardly nice. How often do you get to see that?

The Best, Worst, and Weirdest Agency Holiday Cards of 2013

We saw a lot of agency holiday card videos and websites this past month. A few were very well made, while some just seemed tossed, and a few were so weird we didn’t know quite what to make of them. If you missed out on all this holiday card action, never fear. We’ve compiled some of the best, worst and weirdest for you below. Enjoy, feel free to leave your own suggestions in the comments section, and have a Happy New Year.


“Season’s Greetings From Guy Holiday” – Ignited

LA-based agency Ignited created our favorite holiday card this year by taking on the agency holiday card itself. Ignited’s character Guy Holiday, — described as “if BuzzFeed had a baby with Ron Burgundy and then that baby was raised by, well, Agency Spy” — is an agency holiday card expert who shares his rules for a successful holiday card. He’s a funny character, who gives advice like ““always include a cute animal” because “animals are like mother nature’s stuffed animals.” Agencies would do well to take Guy’s advice before crafting their cards next year.

Viewpoint Creative’s Holiday Card

Viewpoint Creative’s delightfully wacky take on the agency holiday card was another one of our favorites. The Boston-based agency imagines a worst-case-scenario for forgetting to unplug the Christmas tree that includes a giant New Year’s baby and a demon Santa, which should give you a pretty good idea of what to expect. The video’s amateurish construction only adds to the charm, and fits the mood perfectly.

Read more

Berlin Cameron United’s Holiday Card is Really, Really Weird

Berlin Cameron HolidayOne of the last items in our holiday coverage (we hope) may also be one of the strangest agency submissions of the season, which comes to us from New York-based Berlin Cameron United.

BCU’s version of the agency video holiday card is a weird one indeed, answering the question “What can Berlin Cameron bring you for the holidays?” with a barrage of gnomes, yeti costumes, dancing, beat boxing, and more yeti costumes, to name a few. Just don’t expect it all to make much sense as it’s more a menagerie of random, goofy ideas. We’ve definitely seen worse holiday cards this year, but I’m not sure we’ve seen a more bizarre one.Berlin Cameron Holiday 2

Boston Based AMP Lets You ‘Cheerify’ Any Website

Just in case you didn’t get enough agency holiday cards, we’ve got one more leftover, this time from Boston-based agency AMP.

For their take on the holiday card, AMP created Cheerify, a site that can transform any webpage “into a winter wonderland with the click of a button.” Just type in a webpage in the input box and watch as Cheerify envelopes the site with the sights and sounds of the holiday season. You can also drag the Cheerify button to your bookmarks toolbar and press the button to transform any webpage into a winter wonderland. For an idea of what Cheerify does, check out the video above. Never before has your porn browsing experience been so festive.

And Now, an L.A.-Based Agency’s Version of the Yule Log

As we he slowly shut it down for a little bit and try to get last-minute shopping done (yeah, we’re that person), here’s an effort featuring an illuminated gingerbread house from Los Angeles creative studio, Whirled. If this doesn’t get you in the holiday spirit on this Christmas Eve, we don’t know what will. In case you were wondering, the song is “The Mother We Share” from one of the indie music blog-approved bands of the moment, Chvrches. Happy holidays everyone, see you shortly.