February 21, 2011


Filed under: About — Joe Grant @ 2:16 pm

Folks, I’m aware that some of you may have received duplicate copies of previously published posts.

This weekend I spent considerable time trying to track down the cause of this annoyance and wish I could report that it’s been fixed. But from the research it appears to be (1) a random/occasional Feedburner issue with RSS subscriptions that’s received many comments on the net and (2) there’s no apparent solution.

Hard to believe, I know. My blog, like others who’ve had the same problem, has not been updated, edited or altered in any way to trigger a new feed. At least by me. . .

We’ll keep looking into it, but I wanted you to know I’m aware of it and appreciate your understanding and patience.


April 15, 2009

Thoroughly Modern Bloggin’



dmi024-robot-yoWhat an adventure! 

When the new year dawned I got about as close as ever to crafting a New Year’s resolution and decided to figure out My Face, Tweeterizing, Snipe, and all the other whiz-whaz out there. Reason? To (a) become more conversant with “social media” so we could better advise our agency clients on its use and impact, and (b) see if any of it made sense as an outlet for my own juices.

After all, you don’t want the world to pass you by. 

Advertising is absolutely all about staying au courant, and even better, being outré. (See? Right there I used two French terms in one sentence – progress!) Staying cool and with it can easily become too demanding as more pages fly off the calendar. And since I just recently discovered my first gray hair, taking action became imperative.

After lots of fumbling we’re now on the grid with Plaxo, Linked-in, Facebook (which I use exclusively for only personal-family stuff), free video conferencing on Skype, and this blog. Twitter will be next.

This blog is still very much an experiment; there’ve only been a dozen or so posts – its “voice” is yet to ring steady and true. But we’re feeling our way and slowly picking up subscribers, many of whom were familiar with Grant Consulting Associates. We drive some in from our website, others from speaking gigs, and of course consulting engagements. . . but, my God, there are so many more out there!

Michael Gass who blogs on Fuel Lines writes almost exclusively about drumming up new accounts for agencies. . . via social media. His article and interview “Ad agency having explosive new business growth by leading with social media” will get your blood running.

I’m fascinated with the entire social media scene. I believe that on the timeline of technology we’re still living in caves, with the prospect of all this digital conjugation altering and improving our lives in quantum-leap ways.

Of course there’ll be plenty of bad with the good, including here on gRantvertising – lots of experimentation and failure – but it’s indubitable that advertising and marketing as we’ve known it will never be the same. Like air travel last century which recast business and personal relationships at 500+ mph, what we can and will do digitally will rewrite our story. Big time.

So I’m glad you’re along for the ride. Hope the occasional shutters and jerks don’t make you want to exit.

Next stop: Twitterville!


Your 2 Cents

Tell me and others reading this blog if and how you’re using the new technologies to promote your agency business.


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February 2, 2009

About gRantvertising

Filed under: About — Joe Grant @ 11:54 am
Tags: , , ,


gRantvertising is the #1 source for insight on ad agency life and learning how to make your career and your agency soar. Joe Grant’s lived a lifetime of agency experience (remember, agency years are like dog years!) and shares his knowledge, insight, and wit in this solution-filled blog. Since 1992 he’s been a leading resource for agency principals and executives helping them focus and grow their teams so their agencies run right. If you want the scoop on what it really takes to survive and thrive in the ad game – whether you’re the CEO or a junior AE – gRantvertising is the place to be.


“A great combination of insight and execution. Joe rocks!”

Charlie Mason, President, Mason, Inc.

“He brings out the best in individuals, allowing them to uncover solutions at their own pace. An excellent contributor with a genuine understanding of the ad business.”

Marge Navolio, Managing Partner, Mediaedge:cia

“Joe has either personally experienced every strange twist and turn or he’s advised clients going through the ad maze.”

Bill Pierson, Partner, Eric Mower & Associates

“We’re really hitting our stride and doing great things thanks to Joe’s solid advice and counsel to guide us in meeting objectives.”

Beau Lane, CEO, E.B. Lane & Associates

Joe’s ability to handle the personality issues that inevitably arise is invaluable.
I cannot imagine a more productive approach to helping an advertising agency ’reinvent’ itself and prepare for growth.”

Charlie MacLeod, President, Sanna Mattson MacLeod

Some of Our Clients

1508 San Francisco, Chicago

5MetaCom Indianapolis

Anthology Marketing Group Honolulu

Badertscher Marion, OH

Bandy Carroll Hellige Louisville

Bohan Advertising|Marketing Nashville

Bozell Worldwide* Chicago

Brown MC* Chicago

Clarke Advertising* Sarasota

Core Creative Milwaukee

Coyne Beahm Greensboro

CPM* Chicago

CPO Direct Chicago

Cresta Group Chicago

CS&A Bloomington, IL

Davis Harrison Dion Chicago

Duffy & Shanley Providence

E B Lane Phoenix

Empower Media Cincinnati

Evans Hardy & Young Santa Barbara

Franklin Street Marketing Richmond

GodwinGroup Jackson

Great Dane Limited Partnership Chicago

Hart Associates Toledo

Hughes Group St. Louis

Intrinzic Marketing & Design Cincinnati

KK&A Chicago

Kelliher Samets Volk Burlington

Kelly, Scott & Madison Chicago

Kinzley Hughes* Denver

Kuhn & Wittenborn Kansas City

Laird Christianson Honolulu

Levenson & Hill Dallas

Loeffler Ketchum Mountjoy Charlotte

Magnani Continuum Marketing Chicago

Malone Akron

Mason New Haven

Maring Weissman St. Louis

Mediaedge:cia Chicago

MGA Denver

Nicholson Kovac (formerly NKH&W) Kansas City

Ornelas & Associates Dallas

Osborn & Barr St. Louis

Ovation Marketing La Crosse, WI

Paul Kaza Associates Burlington

Perry Ballard St. Joseph, MI

Pierson Hawkins* Denver

Pollak Levitt* Atlanta

PPO&S Harrisburg

Preston Kelly (formerly Kerker) Minneapolis

Princeton Partners Princeton

Proficient Data* Chicago

Regian & Wilson* Ft. Worth

Robinson & Maites Chicago

Sanna Mattson MacLeod Smithtown, NY

Speakerbox Mclean,VA

Slingshot Dallas

Smiley/Hanchulak Akron

St. John & Partners Jacksonville

TargetCom Chicago

Target & Response Chicago

Topin & Associates Chicago

Tripp Minneapolis

The Adams Group South Carolina

The Jeffrey Group Miami

Zimmerman Laurent Richardson Des Moines

Zipatoni* St. Louis

*before acquisition



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January 30, 2009

About Joe Grant

Filed under: About — Joe Grant @ 1:46 pm









Welcome. I’m Joe Grant, host of this occasional blog focusing on the joys, disappointments, and challenges of working at an advertising agency.

My clients and friends (usually one and the same) call me the “Ad Agency Shrink” because I help them understand what’s holding them back and facilitate fixing it so their agency runs right.

Me? Well after the University of Wisconsin-Madison, I began my career as Executive Producer for the Corporation of for Public Broadcasting, and founded and was the first station manager of WXXI-FM public broadcasting in Rochester, NY.

But I spent most of my career in marketing communications including Chief Operating Officer, General Manager, Director of Operations, Director of Client Services, and Account Manager at advertising agencies Ketchum (Pittsburgh), MARC (Pittsburgh) Fahlgren (Cleveland), and SRK (Chicago). I helped create marketing campaigns for scores of consumer and industrial brands including Bank One, Gulf Oil, NAPA, Bendix, ALCOA, and Arby’s.

On the corporate side, I was Manager of Marketing Communications for Westinghouse Electric Corporation’s power generation business unit, responsible for worldwide advertising for nuclear, steam, gas, and renewable energy systems.

Then in the early ‘90s I founded Grant Consulting Associates, Inc. to help advertising agencies improve client services, accelerate new client acquisition, and sharpen management team focus. The firm continues to serve agency clients throughout the country. Please visit our website:

January 2009

January 29, 2009

Ready, Set, Go

Filed under: About — Joe Grant @ 10:31 pm

sbs019964This thing on your screen is the first entry of an occasional blog focusing on the joys, disappointments, and challenges of working at an advertising agency.

When I was 28 and went to work as an official card-carrying Account Executive in a small agency in Rochester, NY I knew I’d finally stumbled into the Ideal Job for Me. It was challenging, scary, invigorating, glamorous in an after work cocktail kind of way, and it came with its own Amex card. I got to sort out marketing problems, travel, write copy occasionally, and produce TV spots.

I’ll never forget the unanticipated high one day early on when I watched the guy next to me on a plane reading “my” ad in a national magazine.

Since that first agency job there’ve been a half dozen more in Pittsburgh, Cleveland, and Chicago. I was even lured to the other side of the desk for a while as manager of marketing communications for a Fortune 20 company.

It wasn’t always smooth sailing. Sure, there were promotions, but also dismissals, (I hate the word ‘fired’ ), a couple of messed up marriages, and a few blatantly bad decisions. I worked with jerks and but also princes, on scores of accounts great and tiny, and along the way learned a lot.

That’s why I’m giving this blog thing a spin: to offer tips and opinions on what it takes to succeed, share a few stories, and get some conversations started about the razzle-dazzle world of advertising.

This won’t work without getting your pushback and participation so I hope you’ll join in regularly. Sign up for the RSS feed, OK?

It’s going to be a lot of fun. Just like the ad biz.

Your 2 Cents

What do you want to talk about here? Or get answers to? Or offer an opinion on.

Go ahead. Throw a question or topic out and we’ll see what happens.

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