You may have heard about the art director who got fired from Deutsch for sending around old pictures of Donny in a skimpy swimsuit. But for some strange reason, no one’s run any of the photos. (Not even The New York Post, which had a whole item on the firing over the weekend but included a picture of “industry heartthrob" Alex Bogusky—their words, not ours.) So, as a service to our loyal readers, here’s one of the pictures that got the art director canned. Notice the Joey Buttafuoco-style hairdo, prominent tan lines and what appears to be a pre-personal trainer bod. Donny couldn’t be reached for comment.
The picture ain’t pretty, but neither is the plight of the art director, Jeison Rodriguez, who admitted to AdFreak that while he “should have been reprimanded,” being fired seemed a bit much. A 10-year Deutsch vet, Rodriguez sounded positively wistful, recalling the days when he perceived Donny as “always being able to look at himself and laugh.”
Now here’s the follow-up: It seems e-mail, the very thing that got Rodriguez in hot water, is also getting him out of it—and leading to further distribution of the Donny pics. The firing incident, which actually dates back to late January, stimulated Rodriguez’s friend Mark Koelfgen to send around an e-mail to help his friend get a new job, with the offensive pics attached! Koelfgen, who also once worked at Deutsch, said of the pictures, “Hold up your hand if you didn’t go through a Billy Ray Cyrus stage.” Fortunately for Rodriguez, the e-mail campaign worked. (He now has a freelance gig.) Strangely the e-mail, having made the rounds throughout the ad industry, has tapped into not only empathy for Rodriguez, but also a weird dynamic in which at least one agency thought about riding Donny’s coattails for its own gain. Rodriguez told us that in addition to hearing from Crispin’s Bogusky and BBDO’s Eric Silver, he also got an offer from Modernista! in Boston to bankroll his job search and “put some sort of publicity thing in the trades.” Rodriguez declined; Modernista! could not be reached for comment.
Below are partial contents of Koelfgen’s e-mail, though we’re not vouching for this version of how the pictures got into the art director’s hands. We hear he got them off the company server. It’s a poem, of sorts:
Today my friend Jeison Rodriguez was abruptly fired.
He’s [sic] was an art director at Deutsch for close to a decade.
Jeison wasn’t fired for incompetence.
He’s a damn fine art director. And a gifted designer.
He was fired for e-mailing some pictures of Donny Deutsch.
Pictures Donny had taken of himself.
I’ll enclose them so you see what I mean.
I worked for Donny.
I have no axe [sic] to grind.
He payed [sic] me regular.
But the more I think about this, the more it bothers me.
I can’t speak for anybody else.
But you’ll never see me squeeze my greasy carcass into a speedo.
And if I do, I’ll never have a picture taken.
And if I do, I’ll never keep it.
And if I do, I’ll never give it to an art director with a scanner and some spare time.
And If I do, he’s more than welcome to send it to whoever he wants.
It was probably stupid for Jeison to have done this.
But ultimately, I think he’s a victim of ruthless vanity.
I’ll hop off my soapbox now.
And get to the point:
if you need a talented freelance AD in the NYC area –or know somebody
who might–please have them get in touch with Jeison. You won’t be
disappointed. I promise.
—Posted by Catharine P. Taylor