Monday marked the second anniversary of the suicide of Paul Tilley, the DDB/Chicago chief creative officer who jumped to his death from a Fairmont Hotel guest room in Chicago. That event, to say the least, stunned and paralyzed DDB, an agency that had, even then, been in difficult straits for some time. Now two years on, sources say, DDB could move as early as this week to grapple with a situation that has gone from bad to worse to untenable.
One possible course of action has DDB merging with Tribal DDB to form some sort of new media entity that can -- so the spin would go -- better address the new realities of a changed advertising industry. Truth be told, both DDB/Chicago and Tribal DDB/Chicago have lost a lot of their luster and billings in recent years, but from an image standpoint, the damage has been far worse at DDB.
It remains to be seen where DDB/Chicago leader Rick Carpenter is when all the dust has settled. Observers agree his two-and-a-half-year tenure as DDB/Chicago's leader has been nothing short of disastrous. Whatever change is coming to DDB, it likely will include changes at the top.