Adrift In Austin

According to Ad Age, GSD&M is yet another once-vaunted agency struggling to cope with the times:

When GSD&M staffers arrive at work today they’ll be surprised with a visit from one client, PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem. They’ll also be treated to video well wishes from bold-name friends Bill Clinton and author Jim Collins. It’s all in celebration of changes in its day-to-day management and the hanging of a new shingle. As of today, the company known for 36 years as GSD&M becomes GSD&M’s Idea City.
A once-great agency is adrift. Recently defected or shrinking accounts such Wal-Mart and AT&T haven’t been replaced. And GSD&M’s time without a big new-business win or truly breakthrough creative work can be measured not in months but in years, eons in an agency business where momentum is everything.
It’s not the Alamo yet, but Idea City is already under siege.
In recent months, Chairman-CEO Roy Spence has been under intense pressure from the leadership of parent Omnicom Group, a sure sign of trouble given holding company CEO John Wren’s typical hands-off attitude toward his agency brands. The main concern, insiders said, has been the ebb of key clients such as Wal-Mart, Brinker International and AT&T, which most recently shifted lead account duties to Omnicom sibling BBDO. Since that shift, these people said, there has been talk of the much larger agency network absorbing the struggling GSD&M. An Omnicom spokesman couldn’t be reached for comment.

We’ll see what happens. Another group of shade lovers, perhaps?



About Dan Goldgeier

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. Dan is also a columnist for and the author of View From The Cheap Seats and Killer Executions and Scrubbed Decks.