Watching the Detectives

Advertising people working their creative magic often look like undercover cops on stakeout. Although the cops tend to dress better, both groups spend much of their time sitting around waiting for something—anything—to happen.

So it may have been inevitable that these two noble but often maligned forces would meet in the course of duty. In Los Angeles, the police recently initiated the contact, asking the good people at Crispin Porter + Bogusky if they could use the agency’s Venice Beach office as a perch from which to spy on suspected car thieves holed up across the street. The cops, part of the LAPD’s Taskforce for Regional Autotheft Prevention, spent a few nights surveilling their prey before pouncing. (As it happens, the cops also locked themselves in the office one night and had to call a sleeping staffer on her cell phone at 1 a.m. to get out.)

Asked whether the agency’s staffers knew that their neighbors weren’t on the up-and-up, creative director Sally Hogshead said, “When we first moved into the neighborhood, we had heard that they vandalized cars, so we took over a huge plate of homemade brownies and we said to them, ‘Thank you so much for welcoming us to the neighborhood. And by the way, those are our cars over there,’ and we pointed to our parking lot.”