Small Shops Don’t Have Room For Big Problems

I’m not big on industry awards, but “Small Agency of the Year” sounds like the kind of award I’d like to win.

No offense to agencies of size, but small agencies deserve more accolades. Clearly, it’s not easy to keep the roof on a small agency, nor is it easy to provide the kind of compensation and work opportunities that larger firms do.

I also appreciate Ad Age’s approach to this annual showcase, as their categories allow for many winners, by region and by size. They even make room for the truly small.

GOLD: Manifold, San Francisco
SILVER: The Distillery Project, Chicago

Some of the other winners include Bailey Lauerman, La Comunidad, JESS3, Mekanism, Baldwin&, Muh-Tay-Zik Hof-fer and Mono–all shops I know something about. The fun part is learning about shops I hadn’t previously heard of, like Magner Sanborn in Spokane, Washington and Rain in American Fork, Utah.

Rupal Parekh, one of the judges, said, “The work these shops are doing is original, unexpected and above all has a huge impact on their clients’ bottom lines. I’d stack up any of the shops on our list this year against big agencies in terms of quality of output.”



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.