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Just So We’re Clear on the Goodby/Chevy Relationship

For some reason, Bob Marshall’s piece yesterday on the Mother work for Chevy was misconstrued by some, including our old pal George Parker, who as we all know is never one to pull punches and once again, he didn’t disappoint. Parker and a few others (but NOT the actual commenters) interpreted Bob’s post as some sort of death knell for the Goodby/Chevy relationship, though it was really anything but.

It was meant to provide some background on Chevy’s agency relationships and recent related events before eventually segueing into the focal point of the post, which was Mother’s actual work for the automaker. Anyhow, to put you all at ease, though this shouldn’t have really been an issue in the first place (or warranted a response for that matter), we’ll tell you first and foremost that Goodby is still Chevrolet’s main agency.

Chevy’s work with Mother is strictly a digital assignment around the Centennial, though  Goodby also got a digital assignment promoting the same thing, which will break next week.  According to sources, Mother’s work is more “historical”; Goodby’s is “personalized and tech-forward.” Goodby still has all the brand work, not to mention this Centennial project (there will also be a Centennial TV spot launching the week of the World Series).

Now, if everyone actually read Bob’s initial post in the first place (like most commenters seemed to have), we wouldn’t have had to waste your time with this follow-up. Carry on.


Apparently, Rick Dennis Has Left the Building

We’re trying to get some official confirmation on the matter, but multiple sources are telling us that Goodby has parted ways with Rick Dennis after just 15 months (hell, we have even been told there was a party last night in his honor). Dennis, if you remember, joined GS&P’s Detroit office and served as ECD on the Chevrolet business. The exec joined Goodby after spending nine years at BBDO Detroit, where he eventually wound up as executive creative director.

‘Fireflies’ Gear Up for 4th Annual Bike Ride from SF to LA

Though AgencySpy is generally tasked with reporting on dark side of the advertising industry, we want to remind our readers that we get off just as much on uplifting news as we do soul-crushing news. After all, marketing types have been known to pay big bucks for bi-polar tendencies.

From time to time, agencies band together for real charity, not just the stuff that wins awards. One example of this is annual Fireflies ride (pic from last year’s event above), an advertising professional-led bike ride to raise money for City of Hope, a comprehensive cancer center located near Los Angeles. Now in its fourth year, the riders start at GS+P in San Francisco and embark on a 550 mile journey, ending at the Mill in L.A. The six-day trek is scheduled to begin on Friday, Sept. 23, with a breakfast served in GS+P’s parking lot.

In addition to GS+P and the Mill, other organizations supporting the ride include Believe Media, 180, Alive & Well, Deutsch L.A., Prettybird, RSA Films, Union and Zoic Studios. AICP will recognize the event tonight at the AICP Show and Next Awards in San Francisco, where riders will be on hand to take donations and give information about Fireflies. Okay, so an award show is involved in some way, but at least in this instance the event isn’t getting an award, right?

BBDO Alum Watson Heads to Goodby Detroit

Goodby Silverstein & Partners has lured BBDO’s Ralph Watson to the Motor City to serve as ECD/associate partner, add to the Dte and share creative leadership on the agency’s Chevrolet account. During his time at BBDO, Watson served as ECD on the AT&T business (he was co-ECD on this spot from last year among others). Prior to BBDO, Watson spent three years as a CD at Saatchi & Saatchi New York on Miller Brewing, Wendy’s and General Mills. Says GS&P’s co-namesake Jeff Goodby in a statement, “With GM’s goal of making Chevrolet a global brand, we had an opportunity to bring in someone with incredible creative horsepower. It is all part of our plan to move more and more of the Chevrolet creative work to Detroit. We are delighted that Ralph can join us and offer his talents. He’s also a real mensch, and Detroit is a place that requires a lot of heart. Ralph’s got that.”

Rich Silverstein Responds to Logo Issue

It looks like our post about Goodby, Silverstein & Partners’ logo and its eerie similarity to one created well over a century ago created enough of a stir that it merited a response from agency co-namesake/founder Rich Silverstein. A generous source was kind enough to send us a memo that Silverstein issued to the entire agency just two days after our post. Guess we’ll see if this clarifies things for all of you.  Here it is verbatim:


“From: Rich Silverstein <redacted>
Date: August 6, 2011 3:42:28 PM PDT
To: Agency Announcements <redacted>
Subject: Logo

Our new logo is old.

I’ve heard that people have been questioning our new logo.   Allow me to explain.  I’ve always loved timeless, beautiful things.  So it’s not a coincidence that the logo looks like a 100 year old ligature.  It was 100% intentional.  I found it in my library in a book of ligatures that I’ve had for 30 years and always admired.  I thought it would be nice to take something old and ignored and reimagine it.  And that’s what I did.

I enlisted the help of a few talented people in the company and with full transparency we took the beauty of the original hand drawn letter forms and conveniently changed the C to a G, removed the O, and added a P.

Appropriation is a big part of our culture.  Sampling is part of the modern music scene.  Andy Warhol’s most famous silk screens were made from other people’s photographs.   And Richard Prince blew up cigarette ads to make art.

Making  something old new again was my full intention and I’m very happy with the outcome.”

Here’s the Note Confirming Erik V’s Split from Goodby

Just in case you needed closure on this whole Erik Vervroegen matter, we’ve obtained the copy from a memo written by Jeff Goodby that was sent to the whole agency regarding the status of the ECD, who joined GS&P from TBWA\Paris in 2009. Here goes:

“We’re sorry to report that Erik Vervroegen will be leaving us for a post as global chief creative officer at a network that will take him back to his European roots.

Erik has been a refreshing, expansive presence here for two years, and we will miss his unique perspectives and smoldering drive for excellence.   He is quite unlike anyone else who has ever worked here, and that has been instructive for all of us.

Please congratulate him and remind him to go easy on those Italian motorcycles and be mindful of his hands when breaking two by fours or whatever it is he does.


And yes, we are trying to get confirmation on Erik V’s new “network.” Stay tuned.


Does Goodby’s Logo Look Somewhat Familiar?

Multiple folks have weighed in on the eerie similarity between Goodby, Silverstein & Partners’ new logo and one from a company called S & Co., the latter of which was designed by Albert Angus Turbayne at the dawn of the 20th century. To be fair, there has been well over a hundred years of separation, so maybe it’s just coincidence, but some of you are anxious to let us know (and it is kinda hard to ignore). Maybe it’s an homage? Who knows, we don’t want to pile on today, so we’ll leave the judgment up to you. Take a peek below:






S & Co. :



We Hear: Erik Vervroegen Out at Goodby?

It sure seems to look that way as the Goodby camp isn’t really making us think otherwise (calls to him were transferred elsewhere, vague email replies, etc.). To remind you, Erik Vervroegen joined GS&P two years ago from TBWA\Paris–where he served as president/ECD–and subsequently worked on accounts including Commonwealth Bank of Australia. During his time at the San Francisco agency, though, he perhaps most notably served as ECD on the AIDES work including the recent “Willy the Tourist” clip. If you’re out there Erik, give us a shout.

Goodby Nabs TD Ameritrade

After a two-month search (seems like seconds by today’s pitch standards), TD Ameritrade has picked Goodby, Silverstein & Partners as its creative agency of choice. GS&P beat out Mullen and now replaces Ogilvy, which has served as the Omaha-based financial company’s AOR for 14 years.  Read more here.

Goodby Confirms Layoffs

Since late Thursday, numerous tips rolled in regarding cuts being made at Goodby and now, we’ve received confirmation that it is indeed true from none other than Jeff Goodby himself, who tells us, “Our staff was not well-aligned to the work we have here.  Hiring so many people for Chevrolet, we invariably miscalculated and overhired here and there.  We have also parted company with a number of smaller clients — Propel, Sierra Mist, Intuit, and Logitech — the staffing of which  we needed to reduce. It is always a saddening event to undergo these changes.  We don’t hire bad people.  But we feel the company is better formed to serve present clients and win new ones.”

Despite the Chevy hiring miscalculation, GS&P’s Detroit office is very much intact and these cuts are part of an agency “adjustment.” Approximate numbers, departments affected, etc. weren’t disclosed though tipsters are saying 35-40.