How One Creative Agency Is Badgering Tech People to Return to Advertising

Public House offers 'counseling' to the enemy

The creative brain drain to tech company has notoriously hit ad agencies hard. Could a little comedy make them come back? 

The Public House, a creative agency in Dublin, recently launched a recruitment campaign aimed squarely at creative minds working in tech—with a satirical, medical-style brochure and website offering "creative counseling" for those who may enjoy the perks of tech-company culture but are missing a deeper work satisfaction that (perhaps?) agency life can still provide. 

"What I lost in free food, I more than made up with a balanced diet of radio, TV, digital, social, and even the odd jingle," says one of the fake testimonials on the brochure. "There's some scary moments along the way, like when you learn how small the summer party budgets are, but once you push through that and learn to let go of ice sculptures, there's an incredibly rewarding world in advertising," says another. 

Public House staff handed out the brochures outside the Dublin offices of big tech companies recently. 

"We know some creatives are happy in tech land, and who wouldn't be with free haircuts, lunches, and bean bag chairs around every corner?" says Public House creative director Jarrod Banadyga. "But we think advertising offers creative cross-training, allowing the creative mind to play with different platforms and client challenges. Will we be able to match their perks, pay, and meals? No, but we think we can offer a more balanced creative diet."

Banadyga admits it's an uphill battle. 

"We feel a bit like David hurling rocks at Goliath," he says, "but the advertising world has been losing people to tech without putting up much of a fight, and we're hoping this message can turn some heads."

The Public House has some experience in trying to woo back wayward talent. A couple of year ago it launched "Go Home Irish!" to recruit Irish people who were working abroad in ad agencies. 

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Tim Nudd
Tim Nudd is editor in chief of Clio Awards.