AgencySpy’s 20 Top Posts of 2020

By Erik Oster 

With a couple of days left in 2020, we live in constant dread of what fresh hell this year may still have to offer and don’t dare celebrate, having endured its relentless chaos and calamity until 2021 has officially arrived across each and every time zone. Even then, we will approach such a look back with deep trepidation and unease. Such is the collective trauma of a year like no other.

Now that we got that out of the way…2020 was, of course, also a year in which there was a lot of agency news. So much agency news. A neverending stream of agency news that just would not let us rest. Some of that news came to you through this very blog. And since we are in the final days of 2020, we take the time to look back at some of the most popular AgencySpy stories of the year.

Our tops of 2020 included CEO apologies, offensive Tweets, a big brand miss, a surprisingly popular story about a beer ad and, of course, Gary Vee. One story which missed this list by the narrowest of margins was the first entry in the AgencySpy Dog of the Year Awards series, which we’ll be closing out soon following an extended hiatus.


Because this is 2020, sadly, this list also contains a good number of stories about agency layoffs, which seemed to dominate our coverage for a couple months this spring. Here’s hoping for a better 2021.

  1. The New Corona Ad Featuring Snoop and Bad Bunny Is Weirdly Enjoyable 
  2. Did The Martin Agency Just Tell Us About 7 New Biz Wins?
  3. WPP CEO Mark Read Tries to Apologize for Ageist Comments 
  4. Some Staffers Don’t Want BBDO and Omnicom to Get a Pass as ‘the Poster Child for WFH’ 
  5. Publicis’ Head of Futures, Tom Goodwin, Faces Twitter Backlash for Takes on Pandemic
  6. Publicis Groupe Agencies Including Digitas, Publicis Sapient Went Through Layoffs This Week
  7. Gary Vee Catches Heat for Bleak Job Posting
  8. Internal Memo: DDB U.S. President, COO Tells Staff ‘We Have Completed Our Tasks for Today’ After Layoffs in Chicago
  9. Publicis Media Data Analyst Fired Over Offensive Tweet Encouraging Violence Against Protesters
  10. Even Burger King Botches it From Time to Time
  11. R/GA Lays Off 10% of Staff Across U.S.
  12. MullenLowe Goes Through Round of Layoffs in Boston, New York and Los Angeles 
  13. M&C Saatchi Advertising L.A. Ceases Operations Due to COVID-19 Impact
  14. Hill Holliday Responds to Assault Allegation From Former Intern
  15. Havas Went Through a Round of Layoffs Across the U.S.
  16. The (Twitter) Story of How a Writer Was Laid Off in the Middle of a Geico Shoot
  17. VaynerMedia Lays Off Around 5% of Global Staff as Part of ‘Restructuring’
  18. About That Weird Line in the Cannes Lions Cancellation Announcement
  19. Anomaly Applies Furloughs, Salary and Schedule Reductions Across Agency
  20. An Agency Choose Your Own Adventure No One Asked for Hits a Little Too Close to Hom