Apr 20

Trust me, ad agency types leave the doors open

I really enjoy the TNT series “Trust Me,” which depicts the inner workings of a fictitious Trust_me Chicago advertising agency.

The cast is outstanding. The plot lines are compelling and credible and the writers deftly co-mingle real-world accounts like Rolling Rock and Dove Soap with ersatz ones like ArcMobile.

Mason and Connor are the show's protagonists. One's a creative director. The other's a writer. Their relationship has been strained because the former was promoted and now this once tight team has to deal with the fact that they're no longer equals. They both work for an amazingly idiosyncratic group creative director named Tony Mink, who is at war with the agency's other group creative director, a totally obnoxious Brit.

Anyway, the show is very cool and nicely complements my other favorite ad show: “Mad Men.” I only have one issue with “Trust Me.” The agency executives all work behind closed doors! What's that all about? It doesn't ring true, especially for an ad agency in the year 2009. Most have amazingly open workspaces, accented by exposed brick, arched ceilings, and Stanley Kubrick-like ductwork (I have no idea what that means, but it sounds right.) What they don't have is what the “Trust Me” office sports: old fashioned, individual offices with doors that are not only closed most of the time, but locked as well.

RepMan readers know I'm not a big fan of the craft of advertising. But, I do admire many of their uber cool office environments I've visited over the years. Firms like Chiat Day pioneered the open office environment that encouraged creativity, communication and a communal esprit d'corps.

So, trust me, you'll like “Trust Me.” But, someone needs to clue in the writers about the office layout. It doesn't ring true and blemishes an otherwise spot-on depiction of the mostly brutal, brutish and sometimes brilliant lives of modern-day mad men.