VICE Media Insiders Defend Outgoing Creative Director

By Patrick Coffee 

VICE-logoVice Media may not be a traditional agency, but it does have a lot of clients and, depending on who you ask, some quality creative talent.

Holding companies are certainly interested: you may recall that Sir Martin and WPP bought a stake in the still-growing company in 2012 before Rupert Murdoch could climb on board.

Vice also acquired Carrot Creative back in 2013, and Carrot CEO Mike Germano assumed the chief digital officer position.


There’s no denying that Vice Media does real work: in July we posted on in-house creative studio Virtue’s Spanglish-flavored campaign for AT&T. Based on what we hear from both an inside source and a report in this morning’s New York Post, the company seems to have all the interpersonal drama of a traditional ad agency as well.

Today the Post reports that Vice chairman/silver stallion Shane Smith fired the property’s long-time creative director Annette Lamothe-Ramos — and no one seems to know why. Vice PR gave the usual “we appreciate her hard work and wish her luck” comment, but “one insider” had this to say:

“Annette was well-liked and respected by virtually everybody who had the privilege to work with her. One of the best people at Vice. So it was a shock for that reason. But it also sent a message that nobody’s job is safe.”

Our own source seconded that thought:

“As a former VICE exec I can say that the sentiment in this NYP article is 100% accurate. Annette was universally liked and a great asset, and it’s a bummer to see someone who has invested that much time in the company sacked for absolutely no reason.”

We know very little about Vice’s operations, but several journalist contacts have told us that its editors are not particularly pleasant or generous with their time and money.

We do expect Vice to poach some agency talent in the near future; the Post notes that the company plans to hire at least 25 more people to work in its Williamsburg offices, and we assume that several will land creative roles.

Also: whatever Lamothe-Ramos did, she can’t have been any worse than Gavin McInnes.