A day in the life of Michael Nicholas, MDC Partners’ ‘entrepreneur-in-residence’

As MDC Partners’ entrepreneur-in-residence, Michael Nicholas’ job entails seeking out emerging technologies and startups and managing the company’s strategic corporate VC fund. Connecting clients with the right entrepreneurs and startups to fuel their businesses as well as building new companies like Born, MDC’s new AI-focused agency, are also part of his job. While no two days look the same, we asked him what a day in the life of an entrepreneur-in-residence in the agency world looked like.

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‘Talent is a commodity’: JWT’s Matt Eastwood’s guide to an ad career

When J. Walter Thompson worldwide chief creative officer Matt Eastwood entered the ad business over 20 years ago, he couldn’t find a job as an art director. Eventually, he was able to make his way to the creative side and craft a career spanning numerous agencies and three countries, including Australia, the U.K. and the U.S. After helping found M&C Saatchi in Australia, he went on to join DDB Australia, followed by M&C Saatchi London. He joined JWT in July 2014. Here, he tells us, in his own words, how he got into the business and shares some of the biggest lessons he has learned along the way.

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‘You can’t half-ass anything’: Agency execs on what their first jobs taught them

Making pizzas or mowing the lawn are far from glamorous jobs but are usually the first taste of regular work for most people during high school and college. Ad agency execs are no different. Digiday asked some senior ad execs what their very first job was and what lessons it taught them about the world. For Giant Spoon’s Jon Haber, being a dancing cellphone helped foreshadow his career in advertising with a focus on technology, while DDB’s Wendy Clark has come full-circle from her first job at a McDonald’s, running the account for the agency today.

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‘I’m obsessive about winning’: Deutsch CEO Mike Sheldon’s career advice

Mike Sheldon, North America CEO of Deutsch, didn’t just stumble into the industry but made his way up with careful precision. After working in the advertising department of his college newspaper at Michigan State University, he packed his bags and moved to Los Angeles to start his career at Young & Rubicam. He has been at Deutsch for nearly 20 years, since opening the West Coast office for ad man Donny Deutsch in 1997. He thinks obsession is a rather helpful trait in the business and credits it with having got him this far.

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Starting Out: Goodby Silverstein’s Rich Silverstein on acting like a pitbull

With the “Got Milk?” commercials under his belt among many others, Goodby Silverstein & Partners co-chairman and creative director Rich Silverstein is an ad industry veteran. But his agency career wasn’t a part of the plan all along. Silverstein began his career on the design side and ended up falling into advertising by chance. Here, he tells us about how he started his journey in the advertising business and shares some of the biggest lessons he has learned.

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As the summer heats up, shorts are the new normal at ad agencies

A far cry from the tight-fitted gray suits and crisp collars of the Mad Men era, ad agency wardrobes today veer more toward casual tees, breezy flannels and, increasingly, shorts. The shift is emblematic of modern-day agency culture, where the lines between work and life are increasingly blurred. Shorts are worn by both men and women — especially when it’s a scorching 90 degrees outside. “We get away with being more casual because we are expected to be the cool creative ones,” said Jennifer Catherall, chief talent officer at Tribal New York and DDB New York.

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How Stonyfield maintains a ‘scrappy and risk-taking’ internal culture

When organic yogurt brand Stonyfield first started in 1983, it used its lids to get its marketing message around the benefits of eating organic food across. Today, that purpose is served by the brand’s social and digital media efforts, which are “significantly more than half” of its marketing budget. An in-house marketing team of 18 people direct the brand’s content strategy, remaining nimble, fast and agile. The team created a Pokémon Go campaign this week within 48 hours, using location data from the app to target players with ads directing them to the store-locator feature on its website.

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How 6 small agencies are getting creative with team building this summer

It’s summertime. And while that typically means outdoor happy hours and Summer Fridays at agencies, it is also a time to regroup and boost some good old camaraderie among staffers before the deadlines come knocking again. From hackathons to running — an agency even created an automated slot machine — smaller agencies are also getting innovative with ideas intended to break the ice and keep employees engaged and driven.

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ANA publishes new guidelines on agency transparency; ad execs shrug

A month after publishing a scathing report outlining transparency shortcomings in the advertising industry, the Association of National Advertisers has released a new set of transparency guidelines for marketers and agencies. The ANA recommends that advertisers “establish primacy” over relationships with their advertising agencies, reevaluate their contracts and create a new role of the “chief media officer” to ensure increased accountability and discipline. But agencies say there’s nothing earth-shattering in the recommendations. “As long as there is a dual agency model, this problem will remain,” said Martin Albrecht, managing partner and co-founder of Crossmedia.

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