No detail is too small to escape the attention of Brendan Ryan, especially when it comes to Foote, Cone & Belding's new office space. Ryan last week sent a long memo to the 900 souls who moved earlier this month from the shop's longtime space on East 42nd Street to West 33rd. In it, he addresses everything from the gritty charm of the neighborhood ("kind of like NYPD Blue 'live' ") to the bathroom amenities ("little shelves will be installed in all the stalls, thereby significantly reducing the number of cell phones tumbling into toilet bowls").
Aside from a few quibbles, such as the lobby lighting ("a bit reminiscent of a disco in Malaysia") and the cheap toilet paper ("the decision to buy toilet paper costing about $2 per 1,000 rolls has been revoked"), Ryan is happy with the space. But he does quote legendary Alabama football coach Paul "Bear" Bryant: "It's always the little itty bitty things that bite you in the ass." In FCB's new home, those itty bitties include mice. But Ryan assures his people that rodent hunters Rentokil (which he gleefully spells "Rent-O-Kill") are "knocking off on average eight mice per day, and now moving from the sticky traps to the cream cheese and whack 'em on the head type traps."
Where did Ryan find time to write the 1,600-word memo? "Now, I can hear some of you wondering ... doesn't he have enough to do as worldwide CEO of Foote Cone & Belding?" he writes. "Well, actually I do. But frankly, I live here too. ... And these things are really important to me, and therefore I'm going to do whatever I can to make sure it's right. So there!"