Fallon Tidies Up

NYT: Pat Fallon, the chairman of Fallon Worldwide in Minneapolis, unexpectedly fired his hand-picked senior creative executive yesterday after less than a year in the job.
Paul Silburn, who joined Fallon as executive creative director for North America in early February 2005, was dismissed along with Mark Taylor, a creative director hired from Crispin Porter by Mr. Silburn last summer. A search for a successor for Mr. Silburn is under way.
The firings came after months of turmoil at Fallon, part of the Publicis Groupe, that included the loss of major clients like BMW, Dyson vacuum cleaners and the Lee jeans division of the VF Corporation.
Although Mr. Silburn is “a brilliant creative, international talent, and a great guy,” Mr. Fallon said in a statement, “I am not satisfied with our progress.”
There are about 50 employees in the Fallon creative department in Minneapolis; the agency also has offices overseas in cities including Hong Kong, London, Singapore and Tokyo.

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. Pat,
    I’m sitting by the phone.

  2. Carl LaFong says:

    Funny how so many of the agencies that have dominated the creative landscape for the past two decades seem to be hitting the wall.
    Think about it: Outside of their HP work, can you think of anything Goodby’s done lately?
    Apart from the ubiquitous Geico campaign and the occasional JFK Library ad, what has Martin done?
    Chiat’s been getting plenty of attention these days — very little of it good. Their work seems to be a lightning rod for controversy and criticism.
    And now Fallon is rocked by account defections and internal upheaval.
    Don’t get me wrong. I wouldn’t write off any of these agencies. They are filled with supremely talented people across the board. And God knows the crumnpled up ideas filling the wastebaskets of their creative departments are a million times better than anything I’ll ever come up with.
    Still, it does give one pause. Why are so many stellar agencies having so much trouble these days? Is it coincidence? Bad luck? Bad timing?
    Or is the problem something deeper and more fundamental — namely, the tectonic shifts shaking up the once stable advertising world? Are even these agencies doomed to irrlevance or even extinction in the new age of marketing?
    Or maybe — maybe — it’s simply that no agency, no matter how brilliant, can sustain a red hot streak indefinitely? (Are you paying attention, Crispin?)
    Maybe it’s simply time for other, unheralded agencies with new visions to emerge. And so the cycle of life is complete.
    (See, this is what happens when you are operating on only two hours of sleep.)