The First Step Is Admitting You Have A Problem

Agency Spy points to the “fascist regime” north of the border that would dare to limit Crackberry addictions among its workforce.
According to, Frank Palmer, chairman and CEO of DDB Canada, has issued a new company-wide policy that discourages staff from using their PDAs and other mobile devices, like BlackBerries and cellular phones, during both client and internal meetings.
Inspired by the penalty system used in soccer games, DDB Canada staff will be issued yellow or red cards for PDA misconduct that ultimately may lighten their pocketbooks via a system of fines.
“Over the past year, I’ve become increasingly aware of and annoyed by staff who use their BlackBerries during meetings,” says Palmer. “Whether it’s done openly or covertly under the table, using a PDA during a meeting is completely unacceptable, disrespectful and hinders the progress of the meeting. While these devices are considered time-savers, they’re also extremely intrusive.”
DDB isn’t acting alone. Recently, Canada’s Department of Citizenship and Immigration banned employees from using their BlackBerries between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. in an attempt to reduce work stress.

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. What about shock therapy? They should institute that!

  2. Most senior-level ad executives with BlackBerries are probably having their agencies foot the monthly bill, as they might argue it’s a business expense. In these cases, the agencies should have complete access to the devices (just as our bosses technically have complete access to our company computers). Agencies should determine exactly how much of the usage is actually business-related (versus personal calls, contact with headhunters, etc.). It would be a great way to identify who is truly utilizing the technology for enhanced productivity and who is a techno-slacker. My bet is that the overwhelming majority fall into the latter category. One easy solution: make executives pay their own monthly bills.