Act of Creation for “God’ Squad




Book Battle Leads to Smith & Robb Opening in Fort Lauderdale
ATLANTA-Andy Smith and Charlie Robb, who created the “God speaks” billboards before exiting The Smith Agency last month, have established their own shop, Smith & Robb.
The announcement comes on the heels of the outdoor campaign’s dominance at this year’s ShowSouth, where it won best of show in the ad category and three golds. Robb accepted the awards on behalf of his former shop, now called SmithAgency.com.
When contacted last Thursday, SmithAgency.com president and chief executive officer Jim Lobel said he was unaware of the ShowSouth results. Lobel said Smith and Robb were fired over plans to publish a book based on the “God speaks” series, which he noted was the property of the shop’s parent, QuikBiz Internet Group. QuikBiz was initially contacted to develop the campaign and assigned it to The Smith Agency.
Smith would not comment about the book. Robb was unavailable for comment at press time. A representative for Random House Publishing in New York confirmed that such a book is planned.
Lobel said the inspiration for the “God speaks” billboards came from a client-whose identity has never been revealed-seeking “to spread the word of God in a nonsectarian, nondenominational way. [Smith and Robb] came up the with idea. They presented a variety of sayings to the client, who chose some . . . [But] the campaign and all its derivatives do not belong to them and [the client] is unhappy they’re trying to make it into a commercial endeavor.”
Lobel said the decision to terminate the pair came from QuikBiz’s executive board, not himself. “Some people are calling me “killer Lobel’ and it’s not like that at all,” he said.
Smith and Robb’s new Fort Lauderdale, Fla., shop is within a few miles of their former agency’s address.