Anomaly Is Donating the Paychecks of Australian Employees to Wildfire Relief Efforts

Agency is ‘fighting fire with fired’

aerial image of Australia wildfires with text
Anomaly is 'firing' Australian employees for a week and sending their paychecks to wildfire relief efforts. Anomaly
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Anomaly has found a simple yet effective way to help fight the wildfires that are ravaging Australia.

The agency has tallied up the amount each of its Australian staffers makes per week and plans to donate that sum to organizations that are helping with relief efforts.

According to Anomaly, roughly 30 of its staffers across the agency’s seven offices were either born or raised in Australia. The agency said their weekly paychecks combined come to about $100,000, which is how much it has set aside for the charitable drive.

The shop has given the initiative the tongue-in-cheek name of “Fighting Fire With Fired.” On a dedicated website, it’s encouraging others to follow suit.

“If you’ve got Australians employed, consider them no longer on staff,” the site says. “Then, match the money from their paychecks in a donation toward their homeland. So the money your Australians receive, Australia will also receive. It could be a week, a month or an entire year’s salary. Up to you.”

Anomaly said the initiative is being driven by Mike Byrne, the agency’s founding partner and global chief creative officer. Currently, Anomaly’s Australian employees (as well as anyone else who wants to be involved) are being tasked with determining how the $100,000 should be spent.

While the agency plans to send financial help to organizations supporting firefighters, animal welfare and families who have been impacted, it also is asking employees to “take some time to brainstorm, research, identify and ideate on the best climate action, change and disaster relief organizations, groups and initiatives” to see how it can use its talent and resources to help Australia recover.

“We will be thoughtfully and consciously considering how we should best allocate the funds to achieve maximum impact,” an Anomaly spokesperson told Adweek. “We have a space set aside specifically for people to meet and talk so that we can use our collective creative minds to really drive a positive outcome that we will see through to implementation. We see it as our responsibility as an industry to contribute to a land that has given us all so much, especially now as the news cycle changes and the relief and recovery effort begins.”

Earlier this month, the New York office of Cummins&Partners—an independent agency headquartered in Melbourne, Australia—encouraged donations to the country’s devastated wildlife population by placing stuffed koalas on trees, lampposts and poles around New York.

@Minda_Smiley Minda Smiley is an agencies reporter at Adweek.