Hotlanta. Coldlanta. Whatever.

I noticed in Adweek that Creative Director, Dave Damman, left Fallon for West Wayne in Atlanta.

The move reunites Damman with Bobby Pearce, WestWayne’s executive creative director, who left Fallon in June to join WestWayne. The two have known each other for a decade, beginning as an art director-copywriter team at Carmichael Lynch in Minneapolis and spending the past two years as creative directors at Fallon.

“We finish each other’s sentences,” Damman said of the relationship.

While that revelation is probably more than we need to know, what I find interesting is the idea that West Wayne is dedicated to making Atlanta a creative mecca. I got a press release on this from West Wayne and that’s their word. Mecca.

I used to hear similar sentiments from colleagues of mine in Denver. And I think now what I thought then. Why is this a concern? Who cares what Denver or Atlanta are doing? I know it’s terribly old-fashioned, but what matters most is the quality of work you’re providing for your clients. One’s market has little bearing on that.

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. And I’m one of those colleagues.
    Basically, it’s all a matter of gravity. Look at Minneapolis. When Fallon made some noise, everyone took notice. People noticed truckloads of great agencies up there. Top talent got hooked into the Minneapolis Mecca. And where top talent goes, clients tend to go there as well.
    Denver is still in incubation stage. Partly because it’s geographically disadvantaged without having the nourishment of a Chicago or Milwaukee to also feed off of. As the world gets smaller, there is hope of more decentralization. But until that happens, mention Portland, San Francisco and Minneapolis in the same sentence to creatives, and they know what you’re talking about.

  2. Hi Jay,
    Thanks for your thoughts. Theoretically, I grasp the gravity thing. And for sure, there’s an advantage in being located in a culturally rich environment. One art, or hand, feeds the other.
    I just don’t believe it matters all that much. For instance, would you turn away from an opporunity to do better work in Albuquerque? Would you say, “Oh no, I can’t go there–there are too few creative superstars in New Mexico.”

  3. Hey, David.
    Decentralization continues to spread the creative wealth to unusual markets. Look at Lincoln. Look at Louisville. Look at everything in your Agencys in Strange Places series. (Heck, Albuquerque has two shops that are doing blue-chip work.)
    For my family of five (yes, five! we’ve haven’t talked in awhile), bouncing from city tocity has become less and less atrractive for our goals. And the idea of finding a city where I can jump from great agency to great agency without getting a plane ticket becomes more and more attractive. Selfish? Yes. I don’t want to leave Denver, but my goals are a constant controversy in my head.
    Later. j

  4. that is the worst photo of me ever taken. i don’t recall using the word “mecca”, but i do think that there is truth in making a city, or market a destination for creatives, and clients alike. i agree, great work is great work, no matter where you sit. as for atlanta…the city is home to some cool larger clients that shouldn’t have to get on a plane to new york in order to get some kick ass shit. damn, i’ll take the heat over the cold any day.