A View from the Penthouse

BBDO Atlanta last week cele brated the opening of its new offices in one of still-trendy Buckhead’s newest glass towers.

The lobby has enough marble and granite for a national cemetery, but BBDO’s penthouse offices are a livable combo of concrete, metal and wood, the floors and public areas spattered with urban graffiti. Creatives are housed in suites, with work stations—not quite cubes, not quite offices—flanking a shared “den.” Looks like a high-tech dorm room.

About 200 attendees noshed on sushi, duck crêpes and crab (out of shot glasses). If there’s a recession going on, it wasn’t apparent here. Shoptalk cornered BBDO honchos Allen Rosenshine and Andrew Robertson in Chris Hall’s corner office for a chat. We asked what the street indicator might be for the end of the recession.

Robertson, natty in a pink gingham shirt bought in Brook lyn, said his gauge is a London plastic surgeon who claims, “When times are good, I do more nose jobs. When times are bad, I do few nose jobs.” At last check, he was doing few nose jobs.

As Hall pointed out, we can still look to con sumers, who are getting used to uncertainty. “Americans are still buying the things they need, and some things they don’t,” he said. “In the U.S., this is the one stable force.”

Rosenshine summed it up for the advertising business. “To be flexible is to understand and react,” he said. “We can’t lead the world. We can’t create the trends. We latch on when they’re meaningful. Our business lives and dies in 30-second units.”