Not All Agencies Are Dead, Despite What Tony Granger Thinks

When Tony Granger, the CCO of Y&R, got up at the CLIOs and said, “advertising agencies are dead,” I thought it was a little silly, if not complete bullshit.
Turns out I wasn’t the only one. Capitol Media Solutions, an Atlanta ad agency, feels the same way:

“I just get frustrated every time I hear someone in this industry mention the poor economy. Morale is important, and they are killing the creativity of their employees” says JT Hroncich, Managing Director of Capitol Media.
Capitol Media Solutions, an advertising agency based in DC, opened its Atlanta office last year and is planning to open its Chicago office on June 1st. They are also hiring, which many large agencies cannot claim. Recently featured in BusinessWeek, Capitol Media is successful because they are creative and open to all possibilities – not just traditional, dinosaur-like agency work. They are moving fast and outmanuevering big agencies like Y&R. Going forward, being nimble and willing to explore more creative avenues are what will help the advertising industry survive.

Yes, lots of people are out of work and the industry’s going through rough changes, but it’s not dead. In fact, there are hundreds of small and mid-sized shops like Capitol that are holding their own, even expanding. They’re nimble, in touch with all media, and ready to pounce on the Y&R’s that are too old and slow to keep up. And for clients, they generally charge less.
Of course, small agencies don’t get covered or mentioned in Adweek or Ad Age, while blowhard comments like Granger’s always do.

About Dan Goldgeier

Blogging on AdPulp since 2005, Dan Goldgeier is a Seattle-based freelance copywriter with experience at advertising agencies across the U.S. He is a graduate of the Creative Circus ad school, and currently teaches at Seattle's School of Visual Concepts. In addition, he is a regular columnist for Dan published the best of his columns in a book entitled View From The Cheap Seats: A Broader Look at Advertising, Marketing, Branding, Global Politics, Office Politics, Sexual Politics, and Getting Drunk During a Job Interview. Look for it on Amazon in paperback and e-book editions.


  1. Thank you for acknowledging the small, if not tiny little shops like ours that serve the small town retailers, hospitals, mid-size industrial concerns and other business that could never afford a Y&R. Here in Hooterville, we can’t keep up and are having a fabulous year, making money and having fun. Business happens on all sorts of levels. I mean, we’re not working on the Budweiser business, but just because we don’t live and work in New York or LA doesn’t mean we aren’t capable. In our agency model, clients are friends and really appreciate what we do for them. We’re enjoying a cold Bud in a nice house that costs a lot less than a big city.

  2. @ Adchick-
    You’re right, and small and mid-sized agencies one of the things I want AdPulp to keep focusing on. The dinosaur agencies may be going extinct but there’s plenty of advertising going on, creativity happening, sales increasing, and money being made.