By Matt Van Hoven 

The 5 year-old Happy Corp, which until recently was helmed by both Doug Jaeger and Matt Spangler, isn’t doing so well these days. Money troubles, a potential lawsuit and the loss of the guy who is said to have been holding it all together could mean an early demise for the young hopeful. Here’s why.

According to people who know him, Doug Jaeger has played a major role in the problems the shop is having, including Spangler’s departure. Whether their relationship is in tact is unknown, but we hear the two have been fighting lately. You’ll recall the recent MoMA Posterboy subway debacle that lost Corp. that account. It was a bold move on Jaeger’s part, to commission Posterboy to rework that MoMA ads, then hire a photog to shoot some models in front of the work and then talk about potentially selling the images later. We suspect that this type of behavior, on Jaeger’s part specifically, is at least part of what lead to Spangler’s departure last week.


We asked Jaeger about this, and he responded with the following statement; “yes, thehappycorp is going through some major changes, but I feel we are moving in a very positive direction. thehappycorp was never really meant to be advertising agency, and while we have truly loved creating all the work we have done and are incredibly grateful for the amazing relationships we have built with our clients, we feel it’s time to transition thehappycorp into a different kind of entity: one less focused on client work and more focused on creating the kind of world we really want to live in. We have some big plans for making this happen…”

But it’s mostly Jaeger’s hubris, say our sources, that has caused the division. The agency’s client list changes frequently, but if Jaeger’s remarks that the company was never meant to be like an advertising agency is any evidence, that’s maybe not such a big deal.

Again, Jaeger; “Working with thehappycorp has been an amazing experience, but I am eager to have an opportunity to focus my energy more on creative work and innovation and less on the day-to-day of managing an office and running a company. There are exciting things ahead for me and everyone from thehappycorp.”

Spangler, according to a source, was know to counteract Jaeger’s seemingly destructive methods. Jaeger is an award-winner; at 33 he’s the youngest president of the Art Director’s Club and he’s bold. In spite of himself, he’s made a name in the industry. Spangler did not respond to an e-mail regarding this story by the time it was published.

More: “Thehappycorp Aint’ So Happy