A Piece Of The AdPulp Story

Designers Who Blog kindly featured AdPulp on their site this week.
Catherine (cat) Morley, blogger and founder of the Katz-i International Web & Graphic Design with operations in SE Asia and the UK, said we need an “About” page, since we weren’t giving her a lot to go on. Her prompting makes me think of a story.
In the spring of 2001, on my 36th birthday no less, Shawn (our publisher) was all of a sudden packing his boxes at Bozell Omaha and headed down the elevator. I had just been fired by Morey Mahoney in Denver six months earlier, so I could relate. I asked if I could help him out to the car with his stuff. He said no.
Minutes later I was summoned to the conference room, where my boss and the HR person were already positioned. “This isn’t personal,” my boss said.
I said, “I can’t believe this. I just moved here for this job.”
Being fired or let go due to loss of business–Bozell had just lost Mutual of Omaha, its biggest client and an account they had held for 50+ years–can be a psychic wound, one that for the most part goes unseen, but nonetheless is always present, like a scar. When a group of people endure these war wounds together in a mass layoff, a bond forms.
You could say AdPulp rose from these very ashes.

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.


  1. I can relate
    First job as proofreader: fired (young, green, i didn’t quite get it yet)
    Second job as traffic manager: left for third job, company absorbed, 95% let go)
    Third job as copywriter: lost major account, lost me
    Fourth job as copywriter: left for fifth job, my position eliminated three months later
    Fifth job as copywriter: lost major account, lost me
    Sixth job: eight years and still above flood waters
    What I learned. I’m looking ahead instead of down at my scars.
    Can others relate?

  2. Jay,
    Didn’t realize you were so difficult to employ back in the day. 🙂 Thanks for sharing.

  3. Carl LaFong says:

    I can definitely relate as well. Of the five full-time jobs I’ve held in this business, I was let go from two of them. Not because I didn’t do my job, but because I didn’t have a job to do. The fact that I was already looking to leave both agencies didn’t lessen the sting of being canned. Nor did the fact that both agencies have subsequently gone under. It doesn’t make me feel any better to think that a lot of other talented, hard-working people ultimately lost their jobs due to the ineffective, incompetent people at the top.
    It’s fair to say that the frustration and humiliation I’ve experienced in this business has contributed in no small part to my wonderfully cynical and jaded attitude.
    But then I see people such as David and Jay, who are able to take potentially devastating setbacks and turn them into something positive, and I feel even worse about myself.

  4. That day was actually a good day for me. I’d been looking to get out for quite a while and a cushy severance package was nice touch.

  5. Cushy severance? Now, I’m really pissed.

  6. Hey, what can I say. 5 years with one agency puts you into some good “french benefits”

  7. Oh, and get this. I haven’t had a land line since about a couple weeks after the layoff. Whilst moving this past weekend, I ran across my old answering machine.
    Among the couple saved messages on the machine was yours from that night.