Idea City: GSD&M Retools for the Future

NEW YORK Omnicom Group’s GSD&M in Austin, Texas, has rechristened itself GSD&M’s Idea City and said COO Duff Stewart, a 17-year agency veteran, will add the title of president.

“In Duff we have a leader who understands our industry, understands the heritage and culture of this agency and, most importantly, he understands how to get things done and make a difference,” said chairman, CEO and co-founder Roy Spence, in a statement.

Spence said he would now focus on finding new clients and opportunities for the agency, stressing that he and GSD&M’s other co-founders, Judy Trabulsi, Steve Gurasich and Tim McClure, are “stepping up, not stepping down” to reinvigorate the shop. Trabulsi will chair the agency’s leadership council; Guarsich becomes vice chair, leading innovation; and McClure will serve as a member of the board and continue as president of Mythos Group and executive producer at Mythos Studios.

“We were so blessed to have had mentors who bet on us and helped us build GSD&M. Now we are going to pass that forward to the next generation and offer them the same opportunity to make a difference,” said Spence.

GSD&M has been somewhat listing of late, losing its share of Wal-Mart’s $570 million account as the year began when it declined to participate in the giant retailer’s controversial re-pitch of its business. It has also lost work from restaurant company Brinker International and it came up short in the Best Buy review. Recent wins include John Deere and World Market.

The agency tallied 2006 estimated revenue of $120 million on billings of $1.8 billion. Those numbers were up 7 percent and 11 percent, respectively, from the previous year.