The cycle repeats itself

If you follow an industry long enough, you start to see the same patterns and cycles repeat themselves every so often. The ebbs and flows of staffing as clients come and go through different shops. The shouting from the rooftops PR pushes, followed by periods of radio silence.

This one is no exception.

Every decade or so, there’s another wave of new businesses that make an appearance. Call them agencies, call them creative shops — whatever label you choose to put on them, it happens like clockwork. Some survive, some thrive, and others wilt away.

Often, those new agencies are formed by senior or experienced staff from other agencies that want to be in charge of their own destiny.

A decade ago, it was the likes of Carew Co., Red Sky, Sovrn, The Agency Creative Network, and Mitchell Palmer who made their grand entrances.

And like clockwork, another chapter in this story is being written.

It started a little over year ago with Duft Watterson, whose namesakes split from Stoltz Marketing Group to hang up their own shingle. Our friends at Boise Dev recently published a piece on them.

It continued earlier this year with the launch of Against. Founded by former Drake Cooper staffers Jennie Myers and Brad Weigle, Against bills themselves as a creative company that “focuses on helping companies define their purpose and rebel against the norm.”

Collectively, Myers and Weigle have over 20 years of experience, and have worked with clients in myriad industries, from finance and technology to consumer packaged goods, real estate and much more.

In addition to launching Against, Myers and Weigle have also developed a unique certificate of innovation and design (ID:EA Certificate), offered through the College of Innovation and Design at Boise State University.

Once again, the cycle repeats itself. The question remains — who else will join this latest group?

On a personal note

Forgive the personal nature of this one…

After more than a decade in and around the agency business, including a long tenure with Stoltz Marketing Group and a summer fling with Mitchell + Palmer, I decided it was time for a change, professionally. I’d had this nagging feeling in the back of my mind for a while, and it wasn’t going away: The agency business just wasn’t as much fun to me as it used to be. I know it’s not a new story, but that continuous drum beat of clients wanting more, faster, and for less can wear anyone down after a while.

And I was at that point.

So I’ve made a change.

Recently, I took a position with HP in Boise, on a small, newly-created marketing team. Being on the client side will certainly be different, but will be a nice change of pace, I think. After years worrying about clients’ businesses, budgets, timelines and everything in between, it’ll be interesting to be on the other side, and see where things go from here.

But enough about me. On to the really pressing question you have right now — what’s going to happen to this site? Well, for the foreseeable future, nothing will change. I’ll still continue to post – likely on the same infrequent schedule – as I have been for the last several years. One thing that may change, however, is the perspective. Since I’m no longer at one specific agency, I won’t have to worry about a perception of bias one way or another on the things that I do, or don’t, choose to write about.

Don’t get me wrong. I still enjoy this crazy business we call marketing, advertising, or whatever it’ll be known as down the road. That much will probably never change. But for me, it was time for something different. Does that mean I’ll get back into the agency game at some point? Possibly, if the right opportunity presents itself. I’ve got way too much industry and institutional knowledge to completely give up on it.

For now though, the scenery has changed, and it’s on to the next great adventure.

Making waves in the talent pool

These days it’s hard to keep up with all the comings and goings in the agency world. But every once in a while someone makes a big enough splash that it sends waves throughout the entire pool.

This is one of those.

Recently, Mitchell + Palmer announced that Joe Quatrone will be joining their team as Creative Director. Joe, for those who may not be familiar, was a longtime Creative Director at Drake Cooper, before moving from Boise to Seattle about eight years ago. In Seattle, Joe worked at GreenRubino for several years, before branching out on his own with Artists, Vagrants and Thieves in 2015.

Joe brings more than 25 years of experience and additional creative muscle to the Mitchell Palmer team. Over the years he’s worked with clients such as Microsoft, Xerox, Hewlett Packard, Micron, Delta Dental, Coast Hotels, Idaho Lottery, United Dairymen of Idaho, Idaho Tourism, Boy Scouts of America, the LDS Church and many more.

The folks at Mitchell Palmer are obviously pleased with Joe’s decision to join their team. “We’re extremely pleased to have Joe as part of our team,” said Tom Donahoe, Creative Partner at Mitchell Palmer. “We’ve been recruiting Joe for many years, and the lure of low pay and impossible hours proved too irresistible,” he added.

Congratulations, and welcome back Joe.

From the “Things we’ve neglected to write about” file

A couple of old news items, but for those tho may have missed it…

Idaho Lottery awards new contracts

Last November, Mitchell+Palmer and CLM were awarded marketing services contracts from the Idaho Lottery. Mitchell+Palmer now handles creative services for the Lottery, while CLM added strategic planning services for the Lottery, in addition to the media planning and buying services, which they’ve handled since January 2013.

A full release from the Idaho Lottery is available here.

The Drake Cooper has been sold

Not the agency, the building.

‘Round the new hire horn — Part 2

A few weeks ago we wrote up some of the recent new hire news we’ve heard about. And of course, there were a few that we missed. So without further ado, here’s Part 2:

Drake Cooper has added a number of new faces to their staff, including:

Nicole Coleman – Digital Producer

Maria Walker – Marketing Analyst

Dustin Fuller – Media Buyer

Katie Reid – Curator of Culture & Talent

Lisa Hawkes – Producer

Cody Evans – Interactive Designer

Dannielle Nicholson – Art Director

Ella Koonce – Junior Creator

Jess Carter – Brand Manager

Mattie Stanford – Project Manager

Molly Gil – Manager, Digital Engagement

Shannon Little – Interactive Developer

Mitchell + Palmer

We neglected to include Tyler LaDouceur in our earlier update, who joined Mitchell + Palmer last fall, after a brief stint with Oliver Russell. Tyler joined Mitchell + Palmer as Account/Media Director.

CLM Marketing & Advertising

We’ve heard rumors, but have not yet received confirmation, that Brooke Smith left DaviesMoore recently to join CLM Marketing & Advertising. Given that CLM was looking for a Senior Media Planner / Buyer earlier this year, that seems within the realm of possibility.

Who else have we missed?

Job Opening – Junior Art Director

Mitchell + Palmer in Boise has an opening for a Junior Art Director. From the job listing on LinkedIn:

Mitchell Palmer is a colorful, intense, close-knit family of talented individuals sharing a great space overlooking the mountains above downtown Boise.  The agency needs a solid creative person with design chops—someone who is equally passionate about execution and idea strategy.

Agency ‘fit’ is equally as important to us as individual talent.   While a talented individual with art skills is paramount, Mitchell Palmer prizes real people who love to laugh, play, dream and push boundaries.  We are not a tame group—it is very loud sometimes!


  • Start Date: Immediate
  • Starting Salary: Negotiable DOE (depending on experience)
  • Relocation Allowance: Negotiable
  • Benefits: 20 days PTO with immediate vesting; 100% health insurance coverage; HSA and POP plans (employee funded); year-end bonus as company profits allow; training and skills enhancement; great coffee… booze… shuffleboard… foosball… darts; retirement plan for mid-2016 is in the works
  • Necessary Experience: minimum 5 years working in a creative ad agency, or agency network including working under a creative director who focused more on big ideas rather than design execution


  • Conceptualize and produce design work celebrating the ‘big idea’: layouts, storyboards, edits and whatever else dramatizes the creative concept in a wide range of graphic applications (packaging; video titling; digital interfaces/tools; installations; brand identity; environmental graphics, etc.)
  • Produce work that is original and effective, and meets the targeted marketing strategy. Recommend surprising solutions.
  • Lead by example: produce creative work of a consistently great standard.
  • Be accountable for ensuring that the proposed creative solution can be feasibly executed within the time and budget given on the brief.
  • Present and explain creative concepts and visual solutions both internally, and to clients effectively; support strategies behind ideas and executions.
  • Support the Creative Directors in all aspects of the creative development process, from strategy development to final design execution.


  • Able to clearly differentiate between design execution and the big idea.
  • Able to perform under pressure and work on several projects at a time
  • Strong people skills, internally and externally.
  • Appreciation of how creative concepts adapt across different media.
  • Aware of current trends in producing great advertising.
  • In-depth knowledge of Mac technology, networking, typefaces/fonts, etc.
  • In-depth knowledge of key software programs (Adobe Creative Suite, InDesign, Key Note, etc.).
  • Able to select the best program meeting the need of the client brief.
  • Have an appreciation and understanding for process and structure for overall sanity and efficiency; be an excellent time manager, with the ability to gauge how far to take design within the time allotted.
  • Minimum 5 years creative agency experience.
  • Experience in a large agency network, or creative network, a plus.

If this position, and moving to a top-10 up and coming city boasting loads of outdoor beauty and sporting opportunities is appealing to you, please send your resume, best portfolio samples and web-links to:

Dirk Robinson – COO

Tour De Smashed 2015

From our friends at the Boise Advertising Federation:

Ever wonder what the inside of DaviesMoore, Mitchell + Palmer, Foerstel, CLM or Wirestone look like? Here’s your chance to see all agencies and ride school buses again. Join us for Tour de Smashed III held on May 28th from 5pm – 11pm. Tickets are $25/person.

We’ve extended ticket sales! This is a Pre-paid event only and ticket sales will be closing on May 20th. There are 100 seats for the bus and once they’re gone, they’re gone. Wheels up on May 28th at 5pm in the parking lot of 9th and River Street (near Cottonwood Grille). Look for the yellow buses.

Drinks and snacks will be included on the buses, and please use good judgement to participate responsibly.

Tour De Smashed 2015

Job Opening: Art Director

Mitchell + Palmer is at it again. This time they’re looking for an Art Director to join their team, with 4+ years of agency experience. From their job listing:


  • 4+ years of agency art direction experience

  • Have BIG IDEAS after weeks of careful consideration or in only 2-minutes

  • Produce original creative work of a consistently great standard

  • Have the chops to inspire the creative team to do the best work they’ve ever done

  • Confidently present creative work in new business pitches and in client meetings

  • Encourage a positive and stimulating working environment

  • Don’t be an asshole or a prima donna

Full details about the job, and how to apply, can be found either on Monster or Craigslist.

Job Opening: Project/Traffic Manager

UPDATE: This position has been filled.

Mitchell+Palmer in Boise has an opening for a Project/Traffic Manager. From the job listing that they were kind enough to send over:

The Job

Job Title: Project/Traffic Manager

Department: Creative Services

Reports to: TBD

The purpose of this job is to control the quality, logistics and cost of the agency’s output.

Key Tasks

What the agency requires of this role:

Develop and manage creative and production processes within the agency.

Oversee file structure and organization (fonts, documents, etc) on server.

Produce timing plans/schedules for the production of creative work, from first internal review to finished product. Ensure changes to timings are communicated to the Account and Creative Teams.

Manage workload of the creative teams across projects ensuring resource allocation is evenly distributed based on scope of work. Co-manage PTO with HR Manager (CFO).

Ensure deadlines are sufficient for the best quality work to be produced, and that they are agreed, communicated to the teams, and met.

Provide input for production estimates and collate overall costs. Monitor production costs as jobs progress, communicating any exceptions to the account team and finance. Issue production estimates from agency system.

Ensure the agency is not financially exposed and production costs are billed at the appropriate time. Sign off all production and media supplier invoices for budgetary control. Assist in reconciling budgets at the end of projects.Advise when client estimates are approved. Work with account team to finalize monthly billing for finance and approve draft billing with finance (CFO).

Manage supplier relationships and negotiate terms – financial and timing – with suppliers, ensuring expedient delivery to the agreed quality and within budget.

Issue Purchase Orders to suppliers from system.

Produce accurate specifications for suppliers across all print and broadcast media. Issue print and broadcast insertion orders from system.

Ad hoc: order office/production supplies; manage IT services of outside IT consultants; trouble-shoot Xerox color copier issues.

Knowledge & Skills

To carry out their Key Tasks, the Production Manager needs the following knowledge and skills


Thorough understanding of project management software, tools and principles

Understanding of the overall agency system (ADVANTAGE) and processes

Familiarity with the creative culture of the agency, and the logistical and practical challenges this might present.


First-rate organizational skills. Able to prioritize multiple tasks and perform under often extreme pressure.

Able to communicate clearly and authoritatively verbally, whether face to face or on the phone.

Able to negotiate favorable terms for the agency with suppliers, and to buy time from Account Management when necessary.

Problem-solving capacity, identifying causes and suggesting innovative solutions.

Able to give clear verbal and/or written instructions to suppliers and monitor progress.

Numerical capability to produce estimates, monitor on-going costs and reconcile on completion of projects.

To apply or for more information, contact the folks at Mitchell + Palmer, and be sure to let them know what spirit animal you are.

Me? I’m a wolverine, according to the quiz.

New Hires at Mitchell + Palmer

Mitchell + Palmer has added two new faces that their crew, CFO, Dirk Robinson, and Designer, Josh Smith.

From the folks at M+P:

Robinson cut his teeth at Wieden + Kennedy, the “Just Do It” agency, who sent him to work at their offices in London and the Netherlands. He also served as Finance Director at several firms in Amsterdam, including 180 Amsterdam, Amsterdam Worldwide and The Reeves Agency, and he filled the role of interim CFO at 72andSunny in Los Angeles. Throughout his travels, Robinson pursued his passion as a classically trained operatic tenor. He now performs with Opera Idaho.

Smith is a man of many talents, from design to educational technology. His work has shined for the Walt Disney Company, MTV, VH1, HBO, Showtime, Nickelodeon, and Snoop Dogg. Holding degrees in music, business, and technology, Smith brings high taste and ingenuity to the Mitchell + Palmer family.

Congratulations to both.