From Austin American-Statesman: Austin Ad Agencies on ‘Upward Trajectory’

By Claudia Grisales

An October day in 2007, in a staff meeting at advertising agency GSD&M’s offices, might have been the darkest moment for Austin’s advertising sector.

On the cusp of a national recession and having just lost AT&T, its biggest account, top executives of GSD&M — Austin’s largest ad agency — were about to inform hundreds of workers they were losing their jobs.

The agency, which had started that year with nearly 900 workers, would shed 335 jobs by year’s end.

“We experienced what I like to call our tsunami,” recalls GSD&M CEO Duff Stewart. Losing the AT&T account “represented a sizable portion of our revenue. We needed to focus on rebuilding for the future.”

For GSD&M and the rest of the Austin advertising sector, that future has arrived.

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