Crispin Porter + Bogusky’s (CPB) iconic mascot Hermy, a pygmy elephant once owned by PT Barnum, will not be making the move to the agency’s new Denver offices. The cute elephant is being auctioned off by agency leaders as part of a massive liquidation of supplies and equipment hosted by Auction Nation. The taxidermized state on a wheeled platform was an extremely hot item during the closing minutes. Some 285 participants feverishly drove up the price from around $500 to eventually close at $15,500.
While the new owner may be anonymous, it closes a chapter many CPBers are sad to leave behind. “To put it in Crispin terms, it is like Burger King getting rid of the King,” Peter Knierim, ex-creative director, CPB told Adweek. “Hermy used to be part of the logo for many years. It’s part of the agency’s history if nothing else.”
There remains a mystery on why exactly the agency is parting with this iconic agency figure. CP+B did not respond to AgencySpy by press time. Knierim, who spent seven years at the agency, speculates it might be because CPB’s high turnaround among talent means this current roster does not view the value and importance of its heritage. He told Adweek his Instagram posting about Hermy received a lot of response from old CPBers who are saddened/sickened/shocked that they’d get rid of such an iconic mascot.
They collectively remain baffled by this low-key auction since visibility would undeniably inflate the value of Hermy as well as some of the other more personal items, such as the large-sized gumball machine (priced at $40) and unopened boxes of subservient chickens ($130). “I know they need to do something to reinvent themselves but to get rid of the history and reminder of when things were working came as a surprise to a ton of us,” Knierim said.
Insiders say Hermy as originally purchased by co-founder Alex Bogusky for his colleague Chuck Porter who has a deep admiration for PT Barnum and “doing things differently,” said one former CPB worker. Hermy was the spirit and soul of what we are doing there.”
The auction originally kicked off on Monday, June 14 and ends Wednesday, June 23 at 3:45pm ET, though individual items may close earlier. In addition to the historical items, agency leaders are auctioning off a ton of their office stuff, ranging from toasters and office chairs to large-screen TVs and exercise equipment.