One Left Standing At DiMassimo

Rather than choose a more ribald reality-show spoof (i.e., Who Wants to Marry the Traffic Manager?), DiMassimo Brand Advertising settled on a Survivor theme for a contest to find its newest employee. Eight recent college grads—Louie Cordova, Bjorn Farrugia, Seth Gaffney, Michelle Mandara, Farah-France Marcel, Karine Ng, Annie O’Rourke and Hanen Yan—duked it out last week for an entry-level account job. They slept at the New York agency, worked on pitches and generally did whatever was asked of them.

“I never thought I’d be able to do this much on four hours of sleep,” Gaffney said last Thursday. Blatant hazing was minimal—no feasting on larvae or rappelling down buildings. “Every once in a while they make us clean the bathrooms,” said Gaffney, a 21-year-old Georgetown grad. “If a creative concept gets rejected, we get whipped with a wet noodle. That’s about it.”

“They haven’t snuck into each other’s blankets, as far as I know,” DiMassimo managing partner Lee Goldstein added pointedly.

DiMassimo execs voted two kids off on Tuesday and two Thursday. At press time Friday night, it was down to Gaffney, Mandara, Marcel and O’Rourke. A decision was imminent, but judging by Goldstein’s e-mails (“This is much harder then we ever thought!”), a demand for a recount Monday did not seem out of the question. Still, once the dust settles, maybe the finalists will head out for a beer together. “I do feel some of us will probably stay friends,” said Mandara, 22, who graduated from Syracuse University in May. Added O’Rourke, also 22 and a Cornell grad: “I’m wondering when the reunion special will be.”