Two years ago, Paul Tilley, the chief creative officer at DDB/Chicago jumped from a window at the Fairmont Hotel to his death. Two years later -- nearly to the day -- DDB/Chicago shows the signs of stress that Tilley's confidants wish he would have shown. Signs that the largest U.S. office of Omincom's DDB may be in serious trouble.
DDB/Chicago is the powerhouse behind some of the memorable campaigns in past years, winning an Emmy for the Bud Light "Swear Jar" commercial. Other Bud Light efforts include "Real Men of Genius" and "Whassup," among others. The Chicago agency also created the Energizer Bunny, McDonalds' "I'm Lovin' it," and numerous efforts for Wrigley.
The Chicago office has been without a creative leader since Tilley's suicide. Rudderless, the agency once known for its creative prowess has foundered; State Farm, one of the agency's stalwart clients moved a large part of the account's creative work to DraftFCB, and Anheuser-Busch rejected all of the original Super Bowl spots submitted by DDB/Chicago.
Yesterday, AgencySpy published that a "bloodbath" had taken place in the agency's creative department, handing out numerous pink slips in the creative department. The cuts came directly following Omnicom's release of its fourth quarter numbers, showing a 15% loss in profits.
Questions have also been raised by various sources about the future of advertising in Chicago. If DDB/Chicago falls, it would be the second such blow to the Windy City; JWT announced that they were closing their iconic Chicago office last year.