Brian Mandelbaum is readying a 24-hour social media ad agency that will man companies’ online presence all day, every day when it launches later this year. Marketers have traditionally stuck to the Monday through Friday workweek and the 9-to-5 workday, but Mandelbaum says there is an unmet client need for round-the-clock online engagement. How will this always-on model affect employees?
Mandelbaum compares cutting-edge ad agencies to media outlets and blogs, which require contributors to work around the clock to cover news as it happens. “There’s precedent for it, and it can be done as long as there is a culture to support it,” he told Ad Age. “There are companies like Google and Facebook that have an environment that is conducive and friendly and sometimes more productivity happens when there are less distractions.”
Despite Mandelbaum’s optimism, the recruiters Ad Age interviewed were less than enthusiastic about the idea of a 24-hour social media ad agency. Linda Schaler of Stephen-Bradford Search notes that she’s already seeing pushback from talented candidates as they try to protect their work-life balance. Such a demanding work schedule, she says, would probably cause “tremendous resistance” for its intrusion on employees’ personal time.
Mandelbaum told Ad Age that he’s received interest in his 24-hour agency from a number of consumer product and retail advertisers. Holding companies have also approached him to finance the venture. Would you ever work the graveyard shift at an ad agency?
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