Agencies In Strange Places: Second In A Series

I’m fascinated by the strangest of ad creatures. Therefore, when Jay Roth–an ad creature in his own right–wants us to know more about 86 the Onions in Venice, CA (a strange enough place for these purposes) I’m inclined to give him a listen.
Something doesn’t stink in Venice Beach by Jay Roth
Ever hear about 86 The Onions? The self-described youth and entertainment brand communications collective is redescribing advertising as we know it.
Orchestrated by former Pyro creative hotshot, Chad Rea crossed the Atlantic to work at Eurohotshops, eventually returning to California (arguably a foreign country in itself) to open this agency.
Their website has Monty Python written all over it. Their underground newsletter Bionic Arm is revolutionary and eclectic in its art-sponsored branding. They’re even attracting clients like Sobe Beverages for a Summer 2005 promo program. Yummy stuff.

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. Clyde Hogg says:

    The agency MatchInc in Atlanta does pretty good work too, without tons of unnecessary suits.

  2. Match is such an unusual agency. Atlanta has slammed the sledgehammer down hard enough to make noise as a creative epicenter from coast to coast. And yet, Match stays under the radar. Huey Paprocki, Sawyer, AustinKelley, all of these have taken advantage of the opportunity. Match is right there with them. What’s the scoop?

  3. Seven-year old MATCH is an independently-owned, Atlanta-based full-service advertising agency. Clients include: Georgia Department of Industry, Trade & Tourism, Flowers Bakeries, Creative Loafing Publishing, Stone Mountain Park, Arrow Exterminators, Southeastern Flower Show, Theragenics Corporation*, Georgia Hospital Association, Horizon Medical Products, Motorola Two-way Radios, Saint Joseph’s Hospital of Atlanta, Sutherland, Asbill & Brennan, and

  4. Clyde Hogg says:

    Austin Kelley? Hell, I thought he was dead.

  5. Agency’s alive and well. Not a gambling man, but I could see their agency featured within five regular issues of CA.
    Actually, I would love to see a profile on Venables Bell. They’re at the top of the list of agencies to watch. Cool work for Napster, HBO (both oz and six feet under), Animal Planet. Good stuff.

  6. clyde hogg says:

    Austin Kelley himself has been dead for ten years or more. The agency was bought out by some bigger agency group. And, for what it’s worth, Atlanta is nowhere near what it was creatively between 1970-1990. Nowhere. The old Cargill, Wilson and Acree OWNED creativity below (and often above) the Mason Dixon line. They did Chiat-Day style work long before Chiat ever met Day. McDonald and Little did a bang up job too, for a while. And Cole, Henderson Drake, in it’s former guise under its original owners, did the tastiest work anywhere. Look at THOSE annuals for proof. Unfortunately, everyone got old and died or sold out or retired. And the world turns.