NAME-CALLING

In May, Matt Smith, creative director at Arnold in McLean, Va., announced he was starting his own shop called & Smith, stating, “The idea is to put the client’s name first.”

Three years ago, David Wojdyla, creative chief at Bozell in Chicago, opened his own shop, & Wojdyla, declaring it would be a business “that doesn’t just pay lip service to putting the client first.”

Sure enough, lawyers were retained. Wojdyla had New York law firm Davis & Gilbert write Smith a letter asking him to ” … not proceed with & Smith.”

Smith said he was happy to oblige. “The last thing I wanted to do was to start my company with an idea that’s already been had,” he said.

Unfortunately, some alternatives have been stymied. Wojdyla, a step ahead, has been buying up Web sites that cover variations of Smith’s agency’s first name.

“I was pissed,” Wojdyla admitted. He noted that the opening of his Chicago agency was covered in Adweek as well as The New York Times. “I find it hard to believe anyone in the industry wouldn’t have seen it,” he said.

Smith said he wants to settle the matter so he can open as planned on July 1 in Washington, D.C. “With a name like Smith, I have issues that Mr. Wojdyla does not,” he said.