Doyle Dane Bernbach: Advertising’s LiLo

By Kaitlin Madden 

Like Ms. Lohan, DDB is at the center of so many anonymous tips that we now look past the “talent” that made the shop the a gossip-worthy sexpot it has become. In the last week, we’ve heard: DDB Chicago laid off half of their creative staff and that the axe is still swinging, that DDB is merging with sister-shop TribalDDB, and that the Tribal DDB creative head will take over the combined agencies. Amid all these rumors, we find ourselves grasping for a shred of truth. After the jump, some details!

First things first: we had to clear up the confusion about the differences between DDB and Tribal DDB. Speaking with a DDB rep and a former DDB employee was helpful but we still find the line between shops a little blurry.

We found out: The Tribe was started as DDB’s interactive arm in 2000, and still sticks primarily to interactive work, though DDB also does interactive work. And if DDB needs better digital/interactive work, they send it off to Tribal DDB. But sometimes, the agencies each do their own thing. Unless they need each other, in which case they team up on clients. Hmm. We’re starting to see how a “merger” makes sense.


Except, according to a rep for DDB, there will definitely not be a merger. Although the Chicago Sun-Times reports the merger rumors have merit. The DDB rep also says that Tribal’s Creative Director will have no control over DDB and will continue on only as the Chief of his own Tribe’s Indians.

And now for the Indians. Multiple sources told AgencySpy that DDB Chicago cut the majority of its creative department, some going so far as to call the layoffs a “bloodbath.” We continue to get tips that more people are being laid off. Again, however, sources close to DDB say no more than 15 people were let go, and that employees were laid off in one fell swoop.

Who do we believe!? When will the truth come out?!? Pshh, who knows, but in the meantime, might we suggest a corporate retreat at Promises?

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