State Of The City:Philadelphia Halflife

By SuperSpy 

Jared Scott, co-founder of Philadelphia agency Stick and Move, has kindly agreed to query his colleagues and give us a fast run down on the scene in city of Brotherly Love. Here’s a run down on my own hometown stomping ground:

“Maybe it’s just because our shop’s name (STICK and MOVE) has its roots in boxing lingo, but a fisticuffs metaphor seems to be a good one to describe the Philly ad scene at the moment. We’ve taken some tough hits – a few even below the belt. But we’re far from going down. In fact, we’re just getting warmed up. Like every other city, there have been some layoffs. Some lost accounts. Some slashing of clients’ budgets. And some frustrating moments. But at the same time, there were plenty of shiny happy moments in 2008.


RedTettemer took a major stop in the whole “Who needs a client? We’re going to do something awesome without one!” movement and launched their own gin last year, badassly named TubGin.

Early last spring, The Brownstein Group launched a solid on-line effort for ESPN’s March Madness coverage.

Last summer, Gyro released a book called Virus that profiles the history of the agency and curiously credits them for the evolution of marketing over the last 10 years. Steve Grasse may not be the most adored figure in advertising, but you got to love that crazy bastard for never failing to be bold and making some noise.

Midway through the year Empathy Labs, a young interactive shop, got into bed with the likes of WWE and VH1. And Tierney Communications defended the Commerce Bank business and continued to hang on even after Commerce was bought out by TD Financial. Across the board, others like Nieman Group, Agile Cat, RazorFish and Digitas all seem to have netted out well last year. And as for STICK and MOVE, we started new relationships Disney, KimberlyClark and Subaru.

But enough about the past. What about the future?

As everyone knows, in times like these, small to mid-size agencies can provide efficiencies for bigger clients. Well, as it so happens, Philadelphia is solely comprised of small to mid-size agencies. So I like to think that this could be the year for some agencies here to really shine. As for us, the phones are still ringing with interesting potential. Certainly, the upcoming year will be a different story from last. For most of us, there will likely be more cutbacks from current clients as the months continue. The lean times certainly aren’t behind us. But everyone I’ve spoke to likes to see these as merely a good kick-in-the-ass to go after bigger, better and braver clients. After all, accounts are still being won and money is still being spent. So here’s to STICK and MOVE and the rest of our Philly brethren getting a fresh, big slice of branding pie in Round 2009.

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