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Is creative leader Steffan Postaer headed out of Euro RSCG/Chicago?

| 10 Comments

Is a big creative shake-up about to happen -- again -- at Euro RSCG/Chicago? Last summer Blake Ebel abruptly departed the Chicago shop as co-chief creative officer to take a job with a Colorado agency.

Now sources are reporting Steffan Postaer could be the next top creative out the door. Postaer's reign at Euro RSCG has been something considerably less than a complete success. With the blessing of Euro RSCG/Chicago leader Ron Bess, Postaer arrived in 2004 with the goal of helping complete the turnaround of a shop that been struggling for some time.

But Postaer wasn't able to develop much momentum on the new business front. Valspar paint was about as good as it got for the top creative who had helped transform Altoids into an iconic breath mint brand during his long tenure at Leo Burnett/Chicago. Creatively, there were occasional sparks of the sort that he brought to the unconventional Altoids work. But not enough.

To the consternation of some at Euro RSCG/Chicago, Postaer spent much of his free time during his tenure at the agency writing a couple of unusual novels. The latest dealt with a gay decorator, and the author released it chapter by chapter on the Internet.

It's unclear what might be the next step for Postaer. He thought long and hard before casting his fate with Euro RSCG. With the agency business rapidly evolving into something much different than it was even when Postaer came to Euro RSCG, it's hard to say what might be a good fit for him going forward.

10 Comments

This is a guy who works out for about three hours a day, goes back to his office, closes the door and writes bad novels or blogs his inane thoughts. the entire office wonders why bess puts up with it. but bess isn't the sharpest guy around either. euro has a collection of people who basically can't get decent jobs anywhere else. look at their website--the work is awful. postaer will have to leave town to get a job.

There were flashes (or sparks) of what might become of Euro. But alas, they always seemed to flame out.... most dramatically with the loss of some big chunks of business. But something tells me this is more of an indictment of Euro's culture, than of Steffan's failings as a creative boss.

And on a side note.... what business is it of Euro's what Steffan does with his free time? (Or any Euro employee for that matter).

There isn't a bigger fan of Steffan Postaer than Steffan Postaer. If he spent half as much time selling Euro as he spent selling himself, that agency might have avoided an overabundance of missed opportunity and the knowledge they bankrolled a just-below-mediocre author's hobby.

I imagine it's their business because Postaer's free time came between the hours of nine and five, Monday-Friday.

Euro's culture sucks. As does the agency. But Postaer took advantage of the place by spending working hours working out his biceps and writing his crap. He has no future as a novelist; read the stuff on his website--it's dreadful. His advertising future isn't too bright either--unless his dad feels sorry for him and hires him. Or some bid stupid agency is looking for a lazy narcissist. Bess kept him around for far too long--everyone there and in Chicago knows the guys doesn't do any work and the fact is, no one wants him getting near the work, or the clients, or new business for that matter.

I continue to be amazed by anonymous comments left attacking both Steffan and Ron Bess. If you want to attack Euro Chicago's work, have at it. That is open for debate at any and all agencies. Start by looking at the work your shop produces and your contribution to it. I have worked with Steffan at two different agencies during my career. And we haven't always agreed, but he is a tremendous talent that cares deeply about the quality of the work.

To slam Ron Bess is equally ludicrous. All he's done since taking the reins is turnaround a dying Tatham agency that had one client and less than 30 people on the payroll. He has provided growth, and jobs, to a Chicago ad community starved for both in recent years. In fact, he's been doing this for many years in Chicago.

These are two men that have been at the top of their games for years. The Chicago community is lucky to have them. And to answer any future responders, I don't work for Euro. I just happen to have respect for what these two guy a have done throughout their careers.

Scott, when Bess took over Euro it was certainly worse off than it is today, but not all that much. Back then most of its income came from below the line work and today the same is true. They have few general advertising clients. And the work they do for those--ie, Michelob Ultra is dreadful. And if Postaer is such a tremendous talent than why the hell is Euro dumping his ass? The truth is--and this comes direct from people who work at Euro--Postaer doesn't contribute in the slightest to Euro's creative product.

No you don't work for Euro, you work for Draft/FCB, which is to creativity what Stalin was to democracy.

All this yammering about Steffan Postaer being a lazy hack is a bunch of crap. I should know; I was his creative partner at Leo Burnett for a dozen years. Together we created the Altoids campaign and ran LBWorks. Steffan is a guy who works hard and one full of great ideas. Sure, he’s a little full of himself too, but he’s in advertising, a vocation full of men full of themselves.

Actually, I don't work at Draft. Not even in Chicago. Or the Midwest for that manner. But I have worked with both of these gentlemen in the past.

My biggest issue with this thread is that people hide behind anonymity while personally attacking and denigrating another person. That behavior is the providence of cowards.

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Lewis Lazare has written the Media Mix column for the Chicago Sun-Times for the past seven and a half years.

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