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Bidder Days

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The GMO name isn't the only thing Hill, Holliday, San Francisco, recently shed. The agency, which this week transfers to new, smaller digs formerly occupied by Lowe Lintas & Partners, did a little housecleaning to prepare for the move. But what to do with the unwanted stuff?

"You get to the point where you're asking yourself, Why do I keep dragging this stuff around with me?" says Hill, Holliday president Nancy Hill. "So we decided to auction it to people in the agency who would want it."

The auction, replete with an amateur auctioneer and homemade bidding numbers, was publicized through posters and e-mails. Close to 100 employees clamored to get in bids for goodies like pingping, foosball and pool tables, as well as a 1982 Timex "personal computer," for which the winning bidder shelled out $5. A Helmut Newton photography book took top dollar, selling for $400. By the time each piece of art, tchotchke and leather chair found a new home, the agency had raked in more than $3,500.

Rather than spend the dough on a lavish celebration of the agency's new offices, Hill Holliday opted for a gesture befitting these tough economic times: It donated the money to the Bay Area Advertising Relief Committee, a group that serves the local creative community in times of crisis.