Ad Students Challenge DDB Stockholm to ‘Keep its Promise,’ Get Them a Paid Internship

By Bob Marshall 

Two recent Miami Ad School Europe grads, Babatunde Adebola and Niclas Hellberg, are daring DDB Stockholm to live up to its company manifesto by getting them paid internships at the world’s most famous ad agencies.

See, on DDB Stockholm’s website, the agency boasts (in Swedish), “We always include the option of a payment by results clause.” Adebola and Hellberg is taking this to mean, “If our creative for your company doesn’t work, you don’t have to pay us.” So, the two enterprising young creatives have created a Nigerian-German startup called BabaNic&Co, and is trying to hire DDB Stockholm to get them jobs at big name agencies. It’s a bold move, attempting to pressure an agency into a job, though not quite as bold as sending out a fake press release (remember that?). Now, let’s break this down a bit.


Why it won’t work:

  • Adebola and Hellberg are offering the agency half of their salaries or the equivalent in German beer as payment for the work. Internship salaries, even combined, are generally nothing near what an agency’s minimum fee is. So, there’s not monetary incentive.
  • The cited brand manifesto on DDB Stockholm’s page is, unless I’m mistaken, not there anymore, if it ever was. Did DDB remove it in response to this, or are we just seeing some clever art direction in the YouTube video?
  • As we mentioned before, pressuring agencies into giving you jobs doesn’t generally work out too well. Put a ticking timer on your startup’s website isn’t going to help anything.
  • I don’t know the man personally, but I would think that DDB worldwide CCO Amir Kassaei isn’t too fond of being the board chairman of a company he’s never heard of.

Why it will work:

  • DDB has a sense of humor, and will help the two creatives out (or offer them jobs) as an act of charity and favorable PR.
  • Adebola and Hellberg actually have portfolios with some real and award-winning work. That always helps.

So, what say you readers? Will DDB Stockholm help these guys out, ignore them, or send them a cease and desist letter? Place your bets in the comments section.