Cliff Freeman Has Known Victory And The Spoils Derived From It

Two unrelated events in Adlandia last week say something about the shifting sand under our collective feet.
The first is word that Cliff Freeman & Partners has skidded to an inglorious stop. The second bit is news that two former Crispinis have joined with a gaming exec to form a crowdsourcing agency called Victors & Spoils.
“The goal of his new agency is to “get more people involved in the creative process, but not winner-take-all and not free labor,” John Winsor, a founding partner told Stuart Elliott of The Times.
The way V&S sees it (and describes it on their new site), “companies need an alternative to both current ad agencies as well as current crowdsourcing platforms. One that offers the strategic direction, engagement and relationship management that agencies deliver today, but one that also delivers the engagement, cultural relevance, results and return on investment that crowdsourcing {if managed and directed well} can deliver.”
On the Cliff Freeman front, Adweek has this:

Sources said Baskin-Robbins — where execs could not be reached for comment — is the last remaining account, and that there are five employees left at an operation that had a peak headcount of nearly 60 in recent years.

The agency famous for its funny TV work is on its last breath, while a new agency that will look to the crowd for answers is alive and kicking. I know change is the only constant, but if this news is a sign of things to come, it’s a pretty dramatic shift.
Here’s a Super Bowl spot Cliff Freeman made a few years ago:

[UPDATE] Ad Age sent a reporter over to Cliff Freeman’s offices on West 20th Street in New York. “Cliff Freeman is ceasing operations at this location,” said a woman who asked not to have her name printed and then asked the reporter to leave.



About David Burn

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. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.