Adweek wrote of a new advertising agency whose hiring tactics will focus on military veterans. So far, there have been no outcries of being forced to lower standards. Haven’t heard people claiming they don’t see any military candidates, armed forces personnel may not be interested in our industry, or soldiers are simply unaware of the opportunities on Madison Avenue. Agencies and trade organizations won’t unveil veteran scholarships and outreach programs. Zero news of Chief Military Officers and Military Advisory Committees to date. Jeff Goodby isn’t asking, “Where are all the fatigues-wearing people?” The 4As has yet to announce the opening of an IAM military school. Recruiters aren’t scouring the inner cities for service kids. Not a peep about shakedown maneuvers by Colin Powell. Then again, wait until everyone discovers the high number of minorities serving our country.
New Agency Plans to Hire Military Veterans
Ayni Brigade’s founders include one
By Gabriel Beltrone
The founders of a new agency unveiled Tuesday plan to focus their hiring efforts primarily on military veterans.
The shop, named Ayni Brigade, brings together CEO Mark Russell and creative vp Sherry Russell, both alum of Syracuse-based Eric Mower + Associates, with chief operating officer Brian Hollyfield, himself a retired Marine Corps fighter pilot, who also has been a COO and Atmosphere BBDO.
“We saw an opportunity in the market to do well by doing good,” Russell said. He added that the agency’s co-founders think they can gain a competitive advantage by leveraging the skills veterans have built in the course of military service.
News of the launch comes amid broader efforts, led by former ad agency leaders Ed Vick and Rick Boyko, to recruit military veterans into the industry. Six years ago, Tom Messner also called for such a recruitment drive in a speech at the 4A’s management conference.
Russell cited intelligence gathering, tactical execution and familiarity with emerging technology as some of the experience that veterans would be able apply to the advertising agency’s clients. “The only area that we will be a little more loose in hiring is in the creative space,” said Russell.
Russell declined to name any clients serviced by the new agency, which will focus on digital and events marketing. It has yet to hire any additional staffers, but is in the process of interviewing, he said. The agency plans to have offices in New York and in Dallas.
Ayni, the first half of the agency’s new name, is a reference to the reciprocal practice by which members of traditional indigenous communities in the Andean region of South America assist each other. Mark and Sherry Russell, who are married, first encountered the philosophy while hiking Macchu Picchu in Peru with their two daughters.