Ad agency splits amid good wishes and harmony
LAIRD Christianson Advertising Inc.
is losing a senior vice president, its creative director and its senior art director, and everybody involved is happy about it.
Senior VP Pat Monick, who is also a top account service executive, Creative Director Stan Moy and Senior Art Director Louise Salas are breaking away from Laird to form their own company, to be called Red Rover Creative LLC.
Laird President Buck Laird announced yesterday morning to agency staff "that these three terrific people are leaving the nest ... with equal parts of pride and poignancy."
Normally such breaks are not pleasant, and Vice President Dennis Christianson observed that former co-workers often spend up to five years being mad at each other after such a split. Christianson encouraged everyone to "just skip to the part where we're friends again," Laird said.
Laird, Christianson and the departing trio worked together to "make this a win win win, to make sure we're whole, our clients are whole and these folks are whole in their new future," he said. Promotions at Laird will follow quickly.
Monick, Moy and Salas were "not out to hurt Laird (the agency)," Moy said. The trio did not initially discuss the new business idea with existing clients or co-workers, so as not to poach clients or employees.
"They're giving us their full blessing and have gone to several clients to advise them that they should come with us," he said.
The new partners will have to negotiate new deals with those clients and there may be a way for both Laird and Red Rover to keep pieces of the work or to perform services collaboratively.
"We really like each other and we're going to be each other's biggest fans," said Moy.
Yeah, TheBuzz's spin alarm went off as well -- and both Laird and Moy know it sounds incredible for this scenario to be without acrimony.
"I don't know, if you write this, if people are going to believe it or not," Moy said.
This is how the advertising industry propagates itself, Laird said. He broke off from Starr Seigle Advertising, where he was a senior vice president, in 1989, to start what was then known as Laird McNeil Wilson.
"Major agencies, global agencies, all started with a couple guys that left another shop," he said.
After the announcement was made yesterday morning, "the whole room broke into applause," Laird said.
Red Rover will not use a traditional advertising agency business model, Moy said.
It also doesn't want to be called a boutique.
"I like to use the term, comprehensive and holistic branding," Moy said.
It will generate ideas for companies, brands, organizations and causes -- and plans to do a lot of public service work.
The name Red Rover, also the name of a childhood game, was chosen because the partners decided against putting their names on the door.
"We wanted our attitude on the door," Moy said.
That doesn't mean the company will steal employees from other agencies, he added.
Red Rover has yet to finalize a lease but "fell in love with" a place in the Kakaako-Ward area and hopes to open its doors Aug. 1 or soon thereafter.
You, Me & Pualani
The Hawaiian Airlines
ticket counter seen in the movie "You, Me & Dupree," now in theaters, is not the real thing.
What!? A Hollywood movie with something fake in it?
Universal Pictures' plan was to shoot the scene at an actual Hawaiian Airlines ticket counter, but that would have been disruptive to business -- and these days people already have to do a lot of extra waiting at airports.
The shooting request also came with a very short time line, less than a week, according to airline Marketing Manager Myrna Spencer.
"What we gave them was our logo," she said.
So the Pualani logo was real, as was the Hawaiian Airlines uniform.
Spencer also worked with the customer service department to get authorization for the movie to use Hawaiian's ticket agent uniforms and to hook them up with uniforms in several sizes.
"We worked it out with Brookhurst, that creates our uniforms," she said.
Calif.-based Brookhurst Inc. produces unifoms and corporate apparel, and the studio was able to pick up the togs directly in Southern California, rather than wait for shipping from Hawaii.
Saturday, July 22, 2006
» The Hawaiian Airlines logo and mock ticket counter do not appear in the movie "You, Me & Dupree," as reported in the second item of "TheBuzz" on Page C6 Thursday. The scene appears in commercials for the movie that aired on television, but was cut from the actual movie before its release.
is a reporter with the Star-Bulletin. Call 529-4747, fax 529-4750 or write to Erika Engle, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210, Honolulu, HI 96813. She can also be reached at: email@example.com