The tips came flying in to the ‘Spy line by late afternoon and now AdAge confirms the news that New York indie shop Toy, perhaps best known for its “Elf Yourself” OfficeMax effort, will be shutting down operations by late March. Led by a core trio of Fallon New York alums including Ari Merkin, Anne Bologna and David Dabill, Toy earned continual vocal support from folks like one-time Merkin colleague Alex Bogusky during its four-year existence. Toy’s now the second notable New York shop to close in recent months following Cliff Freeman & Partners, which shut down last November.
In a 2006 interview with Photo District News, Merkin, who was called an “ad genius” last year, said this about big agencies versus startups: “I don’t think it’s about big versus small. It’s about creative versus not creative. Sure, I’m rooting for the start-ups, but that’s because Toy is one, not because I stopped believing in what our industry is capable of. There’s more opportunity out there for creativity than there’s ever been, and even the most established Madison Avenue [creatives] are scrambling to figure out what to do next. The thing is, not everybody is going to get there.” Sadly, truer words haven’t been spoken today.