Intra-agency hooking up is something that happens fairly often, what with all the drinking and college-style partying that seems to accompany a job in advertising. Usually that sort of thing, if people remember that it happened at all (lately there always seems to be at least one sober person around reminding everyone of the stupid things that they have done, but luckily – or unluckily – I haven’t done anything stupid), seems to just blow over.
Your reputation may get minorly dinged unless you’re married, in which case you’re a douchebag. But I haven’t seen that sort of thing happen since I left that holding-company owned agency I worked at back in the day.
Intra-agency dating happens less regularly and everyone warns you not to date someone you work with anyway…the pitfalls are pretty clear. It’s probably easier to make it work at an easygoing agency than, say, a regimented accounting firm, but break-ups always suck and can only be worse/career suicide when work is brought into the occasion.
That said, I do know two people who have made it work, though now that they are moving in together she is leaving their agency to go someplace else…though that may have more to do with the whole “24 hours a day is a lot of time to spend together” thing that anything else.
I was having drinks with an old friend and was telling her about my desultory search for the next Pretty AE when we got to wondering what the rules were on an intra-holding company dating situation.
If you immediately cut out unworkable long-distance situations like an MDC hookup between a Cripsin gal and, say, a Colle + McVoy guy, you are left with a number of New York City big and small agency permutations as well as a Boston-based Arnold and Euro connection, a Minneapolis-based Campbell-Mithun and Carmichael Lynch liaison and others.
None of the agencies above or really any of the big New York shops seem really closely related, except perhaps for some holding company agencies that may share office space or a satellite office arrangement with a sister agency in a mother-ship owned building (like, for example, a tie-up between an Agency.com staffer and a Zimmerman satellite fellow, both of whom would work in Omnicom’s Madison Avenue office, or a TBWA style Chiat/Day – Tequila romance out in LA).
Who even knew that both Arnold and Euro RSCG were Havas agencies?
That leads me to believe that in their case an intra-holding company hookup would probably be cool (though you would have to check the Code of Conduct manual in detail to confirm, I am sure) if only because nobody would recognize it as such.
It is the technically intra-office while still being different agency hook-ups that are the most intriguing gray area…are there any repercussions if someone from Y&R, for example, goes after that hot blond gal working for VML out of Y&R/WPP’s New York office? Is it technically intra-office dating? Are their policies for this?
The world (or at least I) needs to know.