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Liggett-Stashower, 1987-2012

2012 February 7

Checking in to raise a toast to the memory of Liggett Stashower, the downtown Cleveland advertising agency which has officially called it a day, apparently following extensive layoffs and mounting debt.

I worked at Liggett Stashower’s office briefly some years ago, during my freelancer’s tour of the Cleveland advertising and marketing world. I don’t have a lot of reminiscences of the place, as I wasn’t there very long; I do recall gazing out the enormous windows overlooking downtown Cleveland, and the scene of snow falling on downtown feeling almost enchanted somehow, like a giant-sized snow globe.

Otherwise it was a very uneventful “tour of duty,” probably in part because the place was nearly a ghost town. I walked past long rows of empty cubicles in order to find anyone. A few years later I heard that the place was once more bustling with activity, and apparently they still employed sixty people as recently as 2009. My observations of LS certainly contributed something to my impression of the boom-and-bust advertising agency world, and for that matter my belief that the choice between “uncertain freelancing” and a “steady paycheck” was something of a false premise, in general.

In one sense then, meanwhile, I guess that this industry is a roller coaster anyway and most of those who will be losing their jobs are probably used to the experience if they’ve been around for any length of time. In another sense, though, I’m sure that it still sucks; I don’t know anyone who has been working for the company but I feel bad for them all the same, particularly in this labor market. Best of luck to everyone affected.

Unfortunately I don’t have anything to offer them right now; I manage to keep myself adequately occupied but it’s an ongoing effort. That effort continues, though, and if a few big new clients come in one never knows. And, by all means, yes I will definitely be happy to talk about my own capabilities with any former Liggett-Stashower clients in need of a new agency. Modern Alchemy’s business is graphic design more than advertising, but there’s a good deal of overlap, after all.

And the show must go on.

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