TVNewser TVSpy LostRemote SocialTimes AllFacebook FishbowlNY FishbowlDC PRNewser 10,000 Words GalleyCat UnBeige MediaJobsDaily

GSD&M

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.

GSD&M Looking for New Recruiter


As part of its ongoing 2011 transition/rebirth/renewal/name-shedding, GSD&M is now on the hunt for a new head of talent as sources familiar with the matter confirm that Eric Buchanan has been let go. From what we’ve been told, as part of its transmogrification, GSD&M is looking for the “right person” for what the agency deems a very “critical” position and from the looks of it, Buchanan wasn’t fitting the bill. Sources tell us that the Austin, TX-based shop is actively looking for a replacement. Buchanan had been with GSD&M for 18 months.

GSD&M in Cigna Pitch

It’s been nearly five months since health insurance brand Cigna announced that it was reviewing its advertising account, but now we hear it’s coming down to the home stretch. Sources familiar with the matter confirm to us that one of the agencies duking it out in the pitch is GSD&M, which most recently dropped the “Idea City” part of its name as you know. While Cigna’s projected spending is fairly modest at around $20 million, the Austin-based agency sure could use a boost after a fairly rough end to 2010/start in 2011  in which the brand axed its CCO, resigned BMW and watched its Norwegian Cruise Line account go into play.

According to Adweek, Cigna’s incumbent agency, Omnicom-owned Doremus, was expected to participate when the review was launched. Other agencies involved in the pitch were not disclosed.

GSD&M Turning 40, Drops ‘Idea City’

After a fairly bumpy last few months, GSD&M appears to be looking for a fresh start, and in doing so, has decided to drop the “Idea City” portion from its name. From what the Austin-based agency tells us, it’s a way to pay tribute to the founders (Roy Spence, Judy Trabulsi, Tim McClure and Steve Gurasich) and a celebration of the GSD&M’s 40th anniversary, which will take place this August.

In a couple of weeks, the agency will also launch GSDM.com to cement the name change. According to the Omnicom-owned shop, president/CEO Duff Stewart and the founders both agreed to the change. The building that houses the agency, meanwhile, will still keep the Idea City sign. It was nearly three-and-a-half years ago that GSD&M officially added Idea City to its name.

<< PREVIOUS PAGENEXT PAGE >>