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Agency Life

  1. AB&C

    Actions Building Community: Volunteering the AB&C Way

    Year-round, AB&Cers engage in individual volunteer activities, and the agency as a whole offers opportunities to support local causes through events such as community walks, donations drives and more. But as a marketing communications agency that is always focused on innovating stronger strategies, we decided in May 2023 that it was time to apply “strategy” to elevate our impact on our neighbors and neighborhoods.

  2. Colleen Masters
    Colleen Masters

    Hindsight Is 2020

    At 11:59 p.m. on December 31, 2019, the ball started dropping and decided to make a year of it. Like everyone else, I wish I could close the lid to this dumpster fire, but there are some things even a trash fire can illuminate. And those are the things that I never want to lose […]

  3. AB&C

    The Philosophy of Never Burning a Bridge: The Value of Relationships

    By Lenny Prosser, Account Services Intern As a recent college graduate, I often reflect on the lessons I’ve learned over the past 3 1/2 years. Aside from the many lectures I’ve sat through, late hours studying in the library and weekends spent with friends, I have one major takeaway: the value of relationships. College is […]

  4. Mike Gallagher
    Mike Gallagher

    No Mad Man

    Many have heard me talk about how lucky I was to “fall into” the advertising business. Not sure it was pure luck—my dad owned an advertising/PR shop for many years that was located, coincidentally, about two blocks from my office today. My entry into this business was pretty much accidental. I had given notice at […]

  5. Courtney Rossi
    Courtney Rossi

    Happiness is the new ROI.

    Really? What an intriguing thought. But whose happiness are we talking about? Employees’? Management’s? The entire company’s? I’ve heard a lot of sentences begin with the words “happiness is.” Most of the definitions are so simple and “inspirational” that I don’t give them a second thought. But this one made me stop and click through […]

  6. Samantha Oscar
    Samantha Oscar

    Why conferences are still a good marketing tactic.

    Conferences come in all forms and sizes. They can be cheap or expensive, close or far away, worthwhile or totally pointless. As a marketer, should you still attend? ab+c exhibits at seven or eight conferences a year — this doesn’t include the ones we attend to simply gain insight and industry knowledge for our respective […]

  7. Brittany Pride
    Brittany Pride

    Ice Ice Baby! ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

    The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has taken social media by storm! We have witnessed friends, family, celebrities and organizations from across the nation dumping buckets of freezing-cold ice water on their heads! Our very own PR team grabbed their buckets, donated to the cause and called out the Creative department and our Philly office. No, […]

  8. Pam Stevenson
    Pam Stevenson

    Just the facts, ma’am

    Sometimes when people ask me what I do, I say, “I order pens.” That’s a simplification, but an accurate one. I manage the “outside” items ab+c buys for our clients: printing, billboards, displays, giveaways — that sort of thing. I’m that annoying person who insists on facts: when, where, how much, what color, what size. […]

  9. John Hawkins
    John Hawkins

    Why we are big fans of an ‘open door policy’

    It’s been said that good fences make good neighbors. On the flip side of that, particularly in the advertising industry, open doors create an atmosphere where misunderstandings are prevented and teamwork can flourish. It’s strange how many misinterpretations of fact and rumors start because we don’t communicate. Well, we’re in the advertising industry and we […]

  10. Ashley Shuey
    Ashley Shuey

    Showcasing #agencylife

    The hashtag #agencylife has come into the advertising scene with a clear purpose — to let our friends who chose a profession in finance, medicine or law know that we’re having more fun at work than they are. Being quirky, spontaneous and fun breeds creative intelligence here at ab+c, and it’s important to showcase that. […]

  11. Leah Haugh
    Leah Haugh

    Agency life: a trip to Longwood Gardens

    Just like work happy hours, work outings are a great way to connect with your coworkers and create a friendlier working environment. And in the middle of a brutal winter, ab+c Creative Intelligence knew how to bring a little sunshine and color: with a work outing. When I walked into work on a chilly February […]

  12. Mike Gallagher
    Mike Gallagher

    Weathering our business

    Breaking news: This has been one horrible winter for any one living in the eastern third of the country. Let’s be honest, Illinois, Minnesota, Michigan, Illinois — even parts of Ohio and New York — you expect to get hit like this. But the South is wholly unprepared (according to my friends in Atlanta), and […]

  13. Craig Brown
    Craig Brown

    A case for happy hours — like you needed more excuses anyway

    Ding! New email comes in. Subject line: “Who needs a drink?!” You waver a little bit before responding. On the one hand, it’s been a long day and you really need to unwind. And there’s nothing important that you had to do after work. On the other hand, you just don’t know if you feel […]

  14. Courtney Rossi
    Courtney Rossi

    It’s all about the perks

    Not so long ago, a company would lure a potential employee with a competitive salary and medical benefits. These days, companies have new ammunition — perks. Perks represent the “value” employers put on their employees. But they also have a potentially darker side. recently posted an article about 14 companies that offer incredible employee […]

  15. Nick LaMastra
    Nick LaMastra

    Who ya gonna call? — Part II

    If you missed Part I, get caught up before you read any further.  Dawn guessed that whoever was haunting the first floor might have been alive during the 1930s. She began to play a ’30s hymn on the piano in an attempt to rile up the spirit. No response. Perhaps the ghost was more of […]

  16. Nick LaMastra
    Nick LaMastra

    Who ya gonna call? — Part I

    ab+c Creative Intelligence has a full house these days. We’ve been steadily adding new clients, which means we’ve been taking on additional employees to handle our ever-increasing workload. So it’s time to kick out a wall or two — we want to keep everyone happy, right? And by everyone, we mean the living and the […]

  17. Kathleen Doyle
    Kathleen Doyle

    Venison Chili

    The Highlights Combo of Venison sausage and steak tips Sauté onions celery & peppers in bacon fat 3 types of peppers Cocoa powder and a bit of cinnamon

  18. Valerie Gentieu
    Valerie Gentieu

    Chili with a Little TLC

    The Ingredients 85/15 Ground Beef 1 can petite tomatoes 1 can diced chilies 1 can light red kidney beans 1 cup salsa sautéd diced white onion and green pepper chili powder cayan red pepper ground cumin salt and pepper crushed red chili pepper flakes 1 package taco seasoning Hot sauce Triple X habanero sauce And […]

  19. Marc Icasiano
    Marc Icasiano

    Marc’s White Chicken Chili

    Serves 8-12 (party size) 1 lb. dried navy beans 2 large white onions, chopped 3 tbs garlic, chopped 2 sticks unsalted butter 1/2 cup all-purpose flour 1 1/2 cups chicken broth 4 cups half-and-half 2 teaspoons Tabasco, or to taste 1 tbs chili powder 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin 2 tablespoons salt 1 teaspoon white […]

  20. Joe Dawson
    Joe Dawson

    Disclaimer: your results may vary

    Every weight-loss TV ad worth its salt has a “results not typical” disclaimer at the end of it. You know what I mean. You see a newly svelte man or woman standing inside a pair of giant jeans that once housed their enormous frames — with the disclaimer, “Results not typical.” If these “results” aren’t […]

  21. Tony Ross
    Tony Ross

    Creative intelligence as it relates to the creative process

    The creative process is constantly evolving. From the beginning of my career in the ’70s to today, it has kept up with — or kept ahead of — the ever-changing world we live in. But one aspect has proven to be steadfast over time: creative intelligence. It’s the most important part of the process. When […]

  22. Bruce Waters
    Bruce Waters

    Music to our clients’ ears

    Over my nearly (ahem) four decades in the ad business, I’ve written tons of jingles. Presided over original music sessions from Nashville to New York. And spent hundreds of hours listening to and selecting stock music and sound effects — all to create that elusive emotional connection between our clients’ brands and their consumers. Boy, […]

  23. Jennifer Grybowski
    Jennifer Grybowski

    My wish for print design

    My wish for print design is for it to stick around for years and years to come. In my short seven years out of college, the print design world has changed dramatically. I long for the days when I used expensive papers, die-cuts and special printing techniques on every project. I miss trips to the […]

  24. Mike Gallagher
    Mike Gallagher

    Learning all we can — and must

    I suspect many other people in business face in the same dilemma I face nearly every workday. My inbox is filled with opportunities to participate in classes, seminars, conferences, webinars and more. Each of these is led by world-renowned experts, proven professionals in their field and industry-recognized leaders. Like me, you may find it very […]

  25. Caroline Reese
    Caroline Reese

    An Intern Abroad — in Ad Land

    Nine different brands of chips, four types of M&Ms, six different kinds of granola bars, a few bottles of wine and an unlimited supple of coffee. A college kid’s kitchen? No — the kitchen at AB&C. The grocery bill for AB&C has to be outrageous. The kitchen is stocked with a ridiculous supply of snacks, […]

  26. Maria Stearns
    Maria Stearns

    Crossing Over to the Dark Side

    After more than a decade as a marketer for major health systems, I crossed over to the dark side: the agency world. The world where you live and die by your client’s needs and deadlines. Where you stress over timesheets and sales reports. Where you become — gasp — a “salesperson.” It was the right […]

  27. Mike Gallagher
    Mike Gallagher

    Who needs a TAAN?

    Think there’s a typo in that headline? Wrong. TAAN stands for Transworld Advertising Agency Network. TAAN is the oldest worldwide agency network and has member agencies in 47 markets around the world. From South Africa to St. Louis, members meet and share openly and willingly. Often they will partner on projects when the blend of […]

  28. Mike Gallagher
    Mike Gallagher

    Here’s to being a better blogger in 2010!

    So I am beginning to get it—this whole social media thing. I threatened to quit Facebook earlier this year…but didn’t. It’s still too intriguing to me. And yes, it is fun to connect with old friends and business associates…even some distant relatives have touched base. So here is my commitment to myself and my company […]

  29. Lana O'Hollaren
    Lana O'Hollaren

    What’s the story, morning glory?

    Remember “The Telephone Hour” from the early 1960s Broadway show and movie Bye Bye Birdie? The song depicted a teenager talking to a friend on the phone, then that friend talking to another, and so on. This was — and may still be for many Boomers — the quintessential method of communicating. One friend tells […]

  30. Bess Denney
    Bess Denney

    Vote for us!

    Fuel Lines is a blog for ad agency new business, and every month it features the best ad agency blog. Each month’s winner is featured on Fuel Lines throughout the following month and is included in the voting for ad agency blog of the year. So click here and vote for AB&C’s blog as the […]

  31. Joe Dawson
    Joe Dawson

    I am not a crook.

    When I’m at a social gathering, and people ask what I do for a living, I say I’m in advertising. And the standard response is, “Oh, really? Have you done anything I may have seen?” It’s tough knowing how to answer that one. But I’ve never felt ashamed of my chosen profession — until now. […]

  32. Mike Gallagher
    Mike Gallagher

    Facing “The Book” in my 50s

    So it’s no secret — I’m well into my 50s. I learned the basics using pencils with portable erasers that were the size of small Volkswagens. Eventually I graduated to relying on secretaries who used carbon paper. These same secretarial resources also made my thoughtful presentations come to life using some low-cost overhead projections. Then […]

  33. Maria Stearns
    Maria Stearns

    AB&C = GPS

    After getting hopelessly lost in Washington, DC, a few weeks back, I decided to buy a GPS navigation device to make sure that it never happens again. My new friend “Mindy” now guides me through each turn and makes sure I reach my destination regardless of road closures and detours. As I was loading Mindy […]

  34. David Michaluk
    David Michaluk

    Google supports agencies through AgencyLand portal

    Google has long focused on empowering the consumer, evident in its easy-to-use self-serve tools. This focus is especially apparent to agencies trying to manage client AdWords/Analytics accounts (credit card–centric billing, max of 25 Analytics accounts per Google Account, flimsy integration of Webmaster Tools). Google is taking steps to remedy this, however, with the launch of […]

  35. Paul Pomeroy
    Paul Pomeroy

    The pain and folly of speculative creative

    For all you prospective clients out there, we at AB&C would love to have you as a client. We really would. And please, give me a call at any time. Or, feel free to include us in your RFP process. Just one little thing about that RFP process… For the record, I’ve been doing new […]

  36. Paul Flaherty
    Paul Flaherty

    Good advertising is like good sushi!

    While walking back to the agency after a really nice sushi lunch today with my coworkers, I was struck by the parallels between creating ads and the tasty Japanese delicacy. Sink your teeth into this: A really good ad should hit you in the same way good sushi does. It should have an attention-grabbing, almost […]

  37. Craig Brown
    Craig Brown

    Keeping Fresh

    I know, I know, I know…everybody’s got something to worry about or stress over with the economy plummeting down the tubes of Americans’ own greed and poor planning. It only makes sense that companies are looking to their marketing departments to start cutting corners wherever possible. However, in our beloved advertising industry, we cannot let […]

  38. Emory Au
    Emory Au

    Shaking it up

    So much is made of “thinking out-of-the-box” that it is beginning to sound trite. And where is the line that differentiates out-of-the-box thinking from way-out-there thinking or out-in-left-field thinking? Does that really matter? Sometimes the solution you end up with is perfect—maybe not for the problem you began with, but for something else. I guess […]

  39. Peter Gordon
    Peter Gordon

    And another thing … unintended copy points

    I sometimes wonder whether some agencies even read the copy aloud before it’s approved. Two examples come to mind: A prominent lizard has been the spokes-reptile for an auto insurance giant that frequently tells viewers that they can save “… hundreds of dollars or more on car insurance.” Moron car insurance? I don’t want that! […]

  40. Coley duPont
    Coley duPont

    Want more creativity from your ad agency?

    Here are five observations on getting the most out of the people you depend on for breakthrough marketing communications, or what 10 years on the client side and almost 30 years on the agency side have taught me. Among other things. 1. Creativity isn’t a commodity. And you won’t get it out of your agency […]