When I first started in this business, a very smart group of people were just breaking the national scene; Fallon, McElligott, Rice opened in 1981 in Minneapolis Minnesota- far away from Madison Avenue and the whole “ad scene.”

It seemed almost as stupid as opening a small ad agency in Dayton Ohio in 1988- the only difference was that these people had all worked at some bigger agencies, and weren’t starting from scratch.

In fact, most agencies start by mitosis (splitting of cells). And, it seems it’s happening again, as some former Fallon people are hanging their own shingle, taking Fallon’s star client; United Airlines with them.

Personally, I find this repugnant. It’s called biting the hand that feeds you. If you can do such great work for the client on your own, why can’t you do it for the company that brought you? I’ve never met Pat Fallon, but, I’ve met some of the people he’s mentored in this business; Luke Sullivan, Sally Hogshead and former business partner Joe Duffy, three of the classiest, nicest, most talented people in the ad world. (Note, I’ve also met another former Fallon/Duffy employee who started his own thing- that was a total jerk, but very talented as a one-trick pony). So, while I’m sure these guys that Ernie gives kudo’s to are all nice guys, I’m wondering what Pat Fallon has done to deserve having so much business and talent- slip out the door lately?

Ernie Schenck Calls This Advertising?: Rhapsody In Minneapolis
Barrie D’Rozario Murphy’s star just went from on the ascent to full zenith mode with United Airline’s decision to go with the fledgling but oh so talented Minneapolis shop, thus ending a long-standing relationship with beleagured Fallon. Am I surprised? Yes. Am I surprised? No. Bob Barrie and Stuart D’Rozario and the work they did for United when the airline was in its darkest hour continues to be one of the classiest and tasteful campaigns in the business. So while I honor all that Fallon has done for United, these guys deserve much of the credit.

The site for Barrie D’Rozario Murphy is www.bdm.net (and like most recent Fallon spin off agencies- it’s in Flash and can’t be found).

While I try to keep up on the superstars of advertising (sometimes it gets a little difficult), I have to wonder: of the great ad agencies in this country- which agency would get the honor of being the best breeding ground for superstar talent? Which agency has spun off the most “hot shops”- and, where are the best places to hone your skills?

I’m also wondering how clients like United, can believe that a small start-up can take over a major account and do a truly better job, just out of the gates. Fallon has demonstrated over the years that they “get it” and are as forward thinking as any agency on the planet.

Is loyalty absolutely impossible in the advertising world anymore?

Any thoughts?