Today, GSD&M takes on a new name - GSD&M Idea City.
When GSD&M staffers arrive at work today they'll be surprised with a visit from one client, PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem. They'll also be treated to video well wishes from bold-name friends Bill Clinton and author Jim Collins. It's all in celebration of changes in its day-to-day management and the hanging of a new shingle. As of today, the company known for 36 years as GSD&M becomes GSD&M's Idea City.
As Mr. Spence described it, "Idea City is a network for solutions. We'll have the advertising-marketing component, we'll have the purpose-based branding component, we'll have all of our analytics models as a component. We will be the only major advertising agency that will have media planning, market account planning and creative inside of one city." Strictly speaking, GSD&M isn't the only one who offers these things; many agencies do. But, as one consultant said, pushing a new look to the outside world could help.
"To me this is a positive thing," said a prominent search consultant. "They know they are taking a risk, but they've also been pushing that name and concept for a long time, so it's not that big of a risk. I'm not saying they don't have the usual turmoil and that it hasn't been a short-term disaster as far as morale, but I think they'll be OK, and there are several agencies I wouldn't say that about."
Today's press release touts this heritage: "We've been blessed to help build some of the most successful companies in America and to work hand in hand with iconic business leaders of our time, including Herb Kelleher, Sam Walton, Norm Brinker and Ed Whitacre."