WASHINGTON'S LEADING BUSINESS MAGAZINE

Local ad agency competes on reality show ...

... and isn't totally happy about the experience.

Seattle advertising agency Wong, Doody, Crandall, Wiener recently competed for a national account with Subway, the sandwich chain.

On TV.

The agency's work, filmed at WDCW's Los Angeles office, will appear on a "sneak peek" of episode one of AMC's new reality show The Pitch at 11 p.m. Easter Sunday, immediately after the hit series Mad Men. The eight-part series, featuring other agencies competing for other accounts, resumes on April 30 at 9 p.m. 

Dozens of agencies declined requests to be on the show, but for WDCW the decision seemed clear. “We ask our clients to take risks, and we told ourselves that we should take a risk. Why not?” said Tracy Wong, chairman and executive creative director, in a phone interview. Wong said the company has nothing to hide, so it had little to fear by being on the show.

Still, Wong saw a screening of the Subway episode and says he isn’t happy with AMC’s edits. He had hoped the show would portray WDCW’s “Democracy of Good Ideas” process, which emphasizes a creative process he designed to minimize egos and drama. “We are inclusive and somewhat consensus driven, which is different from most businesses and very different from most ad agencies,” he said. “It was captured well during the filming, but didn’t come out well in the edits.”

Wong thinks editors were looking for drama, and since his firm had relatively little, he said most of the show is devoted to McKinney, the North Carolina-based agency competing for the Subway account.

“What people will see in the show is not a lot of us,” Wong said.

Did WDCW win the competition?

“Not necessarily,” Wong said, quickly adding that he's actually not allowed to say.  

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