BBDO Detroit Winds Down With Pride

By Matt Van Hoven 

At the end of the day tomorrow, Friday Jan. 29th, 2009, BBDO Detroit will close its doors forever. God I hope they have a huge bash. We’ll be raising a glass to the agency that is no more, and hope you do too. There’s a couple of positive things going on we think you’d be interested to hear, namely 250 of the 465 employees have found jobs either within Ominicom or elsewhere. Not bad. There’s more, after the jump.

The auto showroom catalog work (yes, a bit boring) that was formerly handled by the Detroit office will now be managed by a new agency called Union Adworks. The shop will house 25-30 people who, as far as we know, are mostly from BBDO.

Headed by former BBDO creative director Curt Curtallo, Union Adworks is set to open Feb. 2. Curtallo made it happen, with the help of a yet-unnamed team from Chrysler’s procurement office.

So, what about that name? We’re told it’s derived from a restaurant Curtallo owns called Union Street the Clarkston Union.

For anyone not yet aware, there’s a Facebook page called BBDO Detroit Alumni Group, which so far has been a place where folks share quick stories and connect to remember their agency. Check it out, but be nice &#151 because on Facebook, you’re accountable (in this case, to us, too).

I’ll leave you with one final thought. As much as we love airing out agency dirty laundry, we fully admit that the worst things we write about are usually the fault of a few people who should have known better. BBDO Detroit is, from what we’ve been told, filled with some of the industry’s kindest, hardest-working, most creative, talented, dedicated individuals &#151 essentially the opposite of who we write about here. They have families and homes and ambitions just like anyone else. They’re people, Americans, foreigners, fighters. And as this part of their journey comes to a close, another begins &#151 one that all of us here at AgencySpy hope is better than the last. To them we have but one quote to share, from Lisa Hickey who was also laid off and recently featured in Lemonade. “Don’t be the person out there looking for a job. Be the person out there doing something interesting.” Good luck out there, let us know where you land.