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 sight of. So right now, I’m taking stock of what I want to stick.
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February 18, 2019

No Mad Man

Celebrating ab+c's 40th anniversary at a Mad Men themed party.

Celebrating ab+c’s 40th anniversary at a Mad Men themed party.

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 my other job and told the agency I had been working with as a client that I was “talking to some folks.” To this day, I swear I had no appointments lined up, but the agency said, “Well, would you talk to us?” Three meetings later, I was in the advertising/PR world!Read full post...


Happiness is the new ROI.

Happiness is the new ROI.

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 to the video presentation given by Centro CEO Shawn Riegsecker at the 4A’s Talent 2030 Conference.Read full post...


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, this challenge is not just for our personal enjoyment, but to raise money for and awareness of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), often referred to as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease.” Read full post...


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.Read full post...


Showcasing #agencylife

UntitledThe 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. If you visit the popular blog http://thisadvertisinglife.tumblr.com/ it’s apparent that your #agencylife experiences are similar to everyone else’s.Read full post...


Agency life: a trip to Longwood Gardens

Touch of SpringJust 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 day, I was greeted with a unique save-the-date. It read, “Join us for a Touch of Spring. More details to follow.”Read full post...

Weathering our business

Now at ab+c we are blessed with some of the most talented employees in the industry, but this weather makes our job harder.

Now at ab+c we are blessed with some of the most talented employees in the industry, but this weather makes our job harder.

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 those of us in the mid-Atlantic region have been … caught off guard. Just talk to any school-aged kid who is losing most of spring break to make up for snow days!

Beyond the emotional frustration caused by this endless onslaught of nasty weather, there’s also the devastating impact on business. Don’t worry; I’m not going to bulldoze you with a lengthy lecture about market trends and impacts — although if you read this blog to its conclusion, you should get one marketing tip. But rather I’d like to focus on one very specific business segment — mine. Advertising and public relations.Read full post...


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

A happy, relaxed workplace leads to better thinking and a better product.

A happy, relaxed workplace leads to better thinking and a better product.

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 like going to happy hour.


A happy hour may be spontaneous, or it may be planned months in advance — but either way, it’s always a good idea. At ab+c Creative Intelligence, we try to plan a happy hour each month, hosted by one of the departments in the agency. We’ve had a creative department tailgate party in the parking lot, a public relations Halloween happy hour in our spooky garage, and a media team Oscars gathering complete with red carpet — just to name a few.

Don’t have the space or energy to plan a themed happy hour? No problem! Just grab a couple of colleagues and head down to the local brewpub to enjoy some of their happy hour specials. Do it. It’s good for you. It can actually be healthyRead full post...

It’s all about the perks

Spending time with family and friends is the greatest perk of all.

Spending time with family and friends is the greatest perk of all.

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.

Salary.com recently posted an article about 14 companies that offer incredible employee perks. At first blush, they all sounded amazing and of course my employer should adopt all of them immediately. But it became clear that these perks were about keeping the employee onsite. Free lunches and dinners, yoga, a playroom, childcare, on-site gyms, on-site concierges to handle life’s chores — everything a working stiff might need to get through the day, right outside his or her office door.Read full post...


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 a Belieber.

Downingtown Area Paranormal Investigators examine Craig Brown's office.

Downingtown Area Paranormal Investigators examine Craig Brown’s office.

The team then moved into the office of a former employee who had brought in an Episcopalian priest to bless the building because of its history. Dawn dangled a necklace between her fingers and encouraged one of the spirits to move it. To everyone’s surprise, the necklace began to swing in circles but stopped after only a few minutes.

We ascended to the second floor where Courtney Rossi, our Human Resources and Traffic Manager, had an eerie encounter one morning two and a half years ago. Courtney was the first one in to work. She headed to her office, and spotted a very tall man standing in a doorway about 20 feet down the hall. Well over six feet tall, the man stood with his head down, wearing a wide-brimmed hat that covered most of his face. He was also wearing a dark, horse-riding cloak and large, filthy boots. Courtney couldn’t make out any facial features. When she took a step forward to get a better look, the phantom backed into the office and disappeared.Read full post...