Dustup in Florida

}Was it a purge or a palace coup? Either way, a number of sources now confirm that Michael Goldberg’s ascension to CEO at Harris Drury Cohen in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., this month led to a furniture-smashing uproar spearheaded by a creative staffer who felt partner and group account leader Patrice Blair deserved the job.

Goldberg, a 10-year HDC veteran, grabbed the CEO job after managing partner Phil Cohen stepped aside. “People perceived [Goldberg and Blair] to be equally important,” chairman Stan Harris said at the time. “The truth is, you can’t elevate two people.” On the advice of legal counsel, Blair, who has left the agency, refused to say much. She did confirm that rumors about the blowup “aren’t too far off.” There was no news concerning any repercussions for her group of supporters.

HDC, once a booming agency, has been rocked by layoffs following the loss of the Wyndham Hotels and Resorts and Levitz Furniture stores accounts. Harris, though, shrugs off the recent incident. “When you’ve done this as long as I have, nothing surprises you,” he says. “All we’re trying to do is good advertising.” AFP/NEWSCOMFoodPixMICHAEL S. YAMASHITA/CORBIS