AJC interview with FitzCo’s Noel Cottrell back in August - couldn’t have summed up the thoughts on Atlanta’s creative community any better. I see all of this now, after choosing to stay in Atlanta and pursuing digital strategy at JWT Atlanta. Couldn’t have made a better or smarter decision at this point in my life.
"Internally here, I inherited a department of between 20 and 30 people. I think a lot of people here were desperate … for the opportunity to do great work. It’s just about giving people that opportunity, pointing them in the right direction, letting them know what to expect. Up at Grey in New York, we hired maybe eight to ten people from Atlanta. It’s not like there’s a lack of talent here, between UGA, SCAD, The Creative Circus and other places.
These places have amazingly talented, creative people, but they all leave. They graduate from school and they say, “Now, I want to go to New York,” or “Now, I want to go to San Francisco.” There’s a lot of that. My dream is to trap some of those kids here and also to get some of the people who have left to come back. Like Wes Whitener (hired along with Mitch Bennett as creative directors). Wes is from Athens.
What happens a lot of times is you move to New York and you come back here for holidays and you see the good life. Bigger homes and you can have a car. And you can be closer to the grandparents down here.
There’s some decent-sized agencies here. But I think there’s a gap in the market in Atlanta for a very creative agency that wins at the award shows, that does great, progressive, cut-through work.
There are also some big companies here in Atlanta. It’s weird to think that a lot of these big companies don’t do a lot of their advertising in Atlanta. They want a New York agency or someone outside the city, which is weird. That’s a self-perpetuating problem for Atlanta, because if you want the best creative people here to do the best, award-winning work, you’ve got to pay them. And if you’re not working on AT&T, UPS, Home Depot or Coca-Cola, you’re not going to have the money. You’ve got to become an agency that’s as attractive as a New York agency.” Noel Cottrell, FitzCo
Read the full interview here