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LOS ANGELES Mark Roberts, founder and CCO of the new shop Vice Squad, had a revelation one day while freelancing: An unnamed Omnicom agency declared that it could not accept an online gambling client because of ethical concerns.
That made no business sense to Roberts, who had moonlighted as a freelance creative director for strip clubs in the past. “The adult industry feels ostracized by the business community,” he observed.
So, a month ago Roberts and partner David Marett, who goes by the title vice president, opened a Dallas shop to service clients other agencies were too embarrassed or forbidden by networks to take, or who put them furtively in their portfolios and treated like second-class citizens.
Vice Squad didn’t nab the online gambling operation (“that would have been like a flea trying to swallow an elephant at this point,” said Roberts).