GSD&M Grad Opens Austin Shop

Doug Lyon, an award-winning associate creative director at GSD&M in Austin, Texas, has departed after a five-year run to open Lyon Advertising.
Lyon, who left his full-time post at GSD&M in January, said he has continued working on assignments for the agency while preparing to open his firm.
At GSD&M, Lyon worked on accounts including Cellular One, No Fear and Airheads Candy. A former Adweek Creative All-Star, he also originated the memorable “Fish-O-Rama” television spot for R.C. Cola.
“I was working with GSD&M through last week on different projects,” Lyon said. “I’ve always wanted to have my own business, and I think there are a lot of opportunities for an agency in Austin.”
Lyon joins a growing list of former colleagues–most recently Mark McGarrah and Bryan Jessee–who have launched their own agencies after stints at GSD&M. McGarrah/Jessee has attracted work from clients including Seiko, Mr. Gatti’s restaurants and clothing manufacturer Savane since it opened 11 months ago.
Lyon, who takes the title of president, said the split with GSD&M was amicable. He and three other employees are working out of loft space on Congress Avenue. Lyon Advertising will offer strategic planning, research and creative services and plans to outsource media for the time being.
Lyon said the shop is developing a campaign for the National Child Abuse Hotline and has signed on for projects with other companies he declined to name.
Lyon’s leave-taking is the latest in a series of changes within GSD&M’s creative department that includes the January departure of senior vice president and executive creative director Guy Bommarito. Bommarito is working with GSD&M on a part-time basis on the account of restaurant operator Brinker International. Creative department manager Debra Forman–responsible for coordinating activities among GSD&M’s nine creative group heads–has also left the agency and was replaced internally.