For immediate reality: pros debunk top five myths about marketing agency life

    Top agency trends forecast for 2009

    TORONTO, Jan. 26 /CNW/ - Here's something new - a news release from
marketing people that has nothing to do with product launches, a publicity
stunt or survey statistics that expose the mindset of today's consumers.
    Toronto-based marketing communications agency, Harbinger, has uncovered
new insights into the inner sanctum of agency life that could shatter myths
long associated with agency pros, their lives or lack thereof. The results
could have disgruntled, yet highly talented, agency people re-considering
their current career path and setting their eyeballs on a compelling new
opportunity at Harbinger.
    Based on a comprehensive, qualitative review by its own staff, Harbinger
was able to lay waste to the following myths:

    MYTH #1 - Agencies operate in their own time zone

    A long-held myth is that marketing agencies operate within their own time
zone, known as SAT (Standard Agency Time), generally marked by a five hour
addition to any time quoted. This myth is rooted in job interview experiences
during which agency bosses quote 5:30 p.m. as a standard workday departure
time, while really meaning 10:30 p.m.
    Visit to see how Standard Agency Time (or
your average workday) compares to the reality of Harbinger staff.

    MYTH #2 - Access to an on-site games room drives employee satisfaction

    Another common myth surrounding agencies is that recruiting and keeping
good staff is predicated on offering incentives such as on-site pool tables,
pinball or foosball machines.
    Based on the quality and character of Harbinger's staff and lack of a
games room (unless you count the odd Texas Hold'em tournament on the boardroom
table), this myth can be comfortably dismissed. Harbinger staff claim that
in-office recreation facilities pale in comparison to the company's mind-
expanding trips to Walt Disney World(R), San Francisco and Las Vegas.
    For more information about Harbinger's off-site gaming habits and
out-of-country experiences visit

    MYTH #3 - Big Brother is always watching

    Agency environments are often painted by outsiders as nurturing
fishbowl-like conditions where staff are scrutinized by closed circuit
television, much like Tom Cruise's employer in The Firm.
    In contrast, Harbinger's 181-year old heritage building accommodates no
such big-brotheresque security facilities. The president is, however, known
for doling out big brother-like advice such as "resist the urge to eat a 3rd
peameal bacon-on-a-bun sandwich at the St. Lawrence Market" or "don't jaywalk
across Adelaide Street."
    For more information about the out of office eating and drinking
locations of Harbinger team members visit

    MYTH #4 - Men don't understand women

    While this myth is not entirely unsubstantiated, feedback from female
staff and clients indicates that Harbinger's male staff have a well-honed and
possibly rare capacity for understanding the female consumer's psyche.
    Harbinger's male staff are known to bravely and willingly participate in
activities that get inside the mindset of female consumers, including
voluntary viewings of Sex and the City and The Devil Wears Prada.
    To see how your knowledge of women stacks up against that of Harbinger's
men, visit

    MYTH #5 - The economy stinks and agencies aren't hiring

    This myth is only half true: the economy does stink, but that doesn't
mean the best agencies aren't hiring. In fact, the best agencies know how to
survive and thrive in down economic times, which is how they got to be great
agencies in the first place.
    Discover the fantastic opportunity that awaits you at Harbinger and
generate your personalized Harbinger-ready moniker by visiting

    Top Agency Trends for 2009

    In addition to breaking down some of the walls shrouding true agency
life, Harbinger also released its 2009 Forecast of five trends that will help
shape marketing agencies:

    1.  Progging - there will be a significant upswing in Progging or
        "blogging by PR/marketing professionals" as a form of work-life
        venting, except among Harbinger staff.

    2.  Choco-storming - agency professionals will significantly increase
        chocolate consumption in a bid to brainstorm great ideas, except at
        Harbinger where both chocolate consumption and great ideas are
        already in abundance.

    3.  Moniker Envyism - in a Freudian-like development, agency staff at mid
        to high levels will be increasingly envious of industry colleagues
        with cool monikers such as The Puzzlemaster or The Sparkplug that
        celebrate one's unique talents. Fortunately, you can ease Moniker
        Envyism by visiting where you can
        generate your own future moniker.

    4.  Lifestaging - Harbinger will continue its dogged exploration into the
        world of marketing to women, including the highly skilled science of
        defining audience needs and wants through Lifestage analysis or

    5.  Shop-propping - in an effort to support client health in the midst of
        an economic downturn, staff at marketing agencies will turn to shop-
        propping or propping up clients' sales through excessive purchases of
        their own clients' products and services, except where the excellent
        services of some agencies already achieve this effect.

For further information:

For further information: about the non-scientific, yet highly relevant
survey results and the Harbinger 2009 Agency Trend Forecast and to learn more
about Harbinger's exciting new job opportunity, please contact: Ava Tsinman,, (416) 960-5100

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