Last Tuesday we learned that something is going on at LA based agencies WONGDOODY and Ground Zero. After speaking with a few more people in the know, we’ve filled in the gaps. Ground Zero, a respected creative shop, is merging into WONGDOODY. There are some redundancies but mostly this is a case of one agency needing something another has, and vice versa.
Before I get into this, know that neither agency has been able to speak with us — presumably because they don’t want clients to freak out. Understandable. From what we can tell, things are going smoothly enough. Nonetheless, here’s what we found out.
Ground Zero is becoming WONGDOODY — so it’s not exactly a merger. But it’s not a buyout either — staff are simply merging, everyone’s taking the WD name, and that’s that.
From what we can tell both shops are run by respected people who are trying to do right by their employees. This is best evidenced by a posterous that’s popped up in honor of Ground Zero’s slow fade, welovegz.posterous.com. There, former employees are leaving positive messages about the agency — like this one:
I’m older and still just as stupid but I’m smart enough to realize I owe everything Court Crandall for gently convincing me that ships are actually harder to turn around than they make it sound in an interview.
So, from AgencySpy’s perspective, there’s no story here — at least not the kind you expect to find on this site. The one being written on posterous is a kind of swan song for an agency that when you read the blog feels more like a family. You hear about shops like this once in awhile. They’re rarely in New York, and for clients looking for advertising void of the kill-your-copy-partner mentality you can’t go much further than California (in the US, anyway).
We’re told the agency’s head of production and some accounting/IT employees were let go from Ground Zero as part of this change. Can’t say for sure what’s happening with the offices.