Energy BBDO, Draftfcb Among ‘Chicago’s Top Workplaces’

By Bob Marshall 

Today, a special magazine pullout section in the Chicago Tribune featured a list of the 100 best places to work in the city, categorized by company size.

A few familiar faces appeared on the list, including Digitas’ Chi-town location, which came in at #17 on the mid-size list, healthcare marketing firm AblesonTaylor was named #33 on the same list, while marketing jack-of-all-trades Upshot took #8 and PR firm, GolinHarris, placed #39.


Two companies that made the list were places I’ve been able to explore firsthand. Number fifteen on the mid-size list is Draftfcb, which has offices just off the Magnificent Mile that are as eye-catching as they are functional. Not only does the office feature multiple, somewhat secluded lounges for hard-thinking creatives, but the in-office entertainment has featured past performances from artists like the Backstreet Boys (squeal). Recent layoffs aside, employees are still loving their jobs from what we’ve seen.

Making #43 on the small list is Energy BBDO, which has offices in the Wrigley Building, overlooks the Chicago River and is conveniently located across the street from the Tribune Tower. While Energy BBDO’s staff is commonly known throughout the Chicago advertising scene for having a “rock and roll” attitude, its employees couldn’t be more down-to-earth (or friendly). Recently, the offices have been throwing highly attended “creative salons,” where Chicago-area artists and writers outside of the advertising world are invited into the offices to give a presentation to the staff and others in the industry. Past presentations have included former Punk Planet publisher and Cell Stories mastermind, Dan Sinker, and actor, poet, artist and local-hero, Tony Fitzpatrick. The above ad featured in the Tribune pullout functions as a QR code, leading smartphone users who scan it to a website where Energy BBDO staffers give additional reasons why the agency made the cut.

Not surprisingly, employers that didn’t make the list: Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Cubs, Chicago Police Department, Leo Burnett, and Chicago Transit Authority.