Agency Poaches Talent by Mailing Out Books With a Phone Hidden Inside

Says it saved $80K in headhunter fees

Ah, it's the old hollowed-out-book-with-a-phone-in-it trick!

FP7 in Dubai got smart by taking a novel approach to avoid hefty headhunter fees. The shop placed cellphones inside die-cut, faux ad industry books and mailed the volumes to creatives it wished to hire.

The volumes were impressively designed and personalized to match each recruit's interests. (The one using Coke's colors and type style, promising guidance for "Creating Campaigns for the Coolest Brands on the Planet," is especially impressive. The soft drink giant, always a good sport, should bring a lawsuit any day.)

The phone number for FP7's executive creative director was programmed into each of the handsets.

By using this "Poaching Phone" technique to poach talent, FP7 ultimately added four key staffers—an art director, a design chief and an award-winning creative team—and claims to have saved more than $80,000 in recruitment costs.

Clearly, the project shows the agency's fun, creative spirit. But $80K for recruitment? I know Dubai's a pricey place, but $80K, really? Even paying $1,600 to make the books seems a tad excessive. Why not just call potential recruits, invite them to the office, or take them out for dinner? I guess today's recruits need a little more excitement than that.

Ah well, what's the point of being in the ad biz if you can't execute a gloriously overproduced idea every now and then?

Executive Creative Director: Paul Banham
Creative Directors: Ali Mokdad, Paul Banham, Husen Baba
Art Director: Joseph Alipio, Ali Mokdad, Husen Baba, Paul Banham
Copywriter: Ali Mokdad, Paul Banham
Head of Design: Ryan Atkinson
Design Director: Erol Salcinovic
Junior Graphic Designer: Laila Mokdad
Agency Producer: Khalid Hamza
Other Credits: Jacques Mulder, Ashraf Muhammad Unnay, Adam Browning Hill

@DaveGian David Gianatasio is a longtime contributor to Adweek, where he has been a writer and editor for two decades. Previously serving as Adweek's New England bureau chief and web editor, he remains based in Boston.