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Wal-Mart Marketer To Assume Larger Role In Clinton Campaign

On the heels of Hillary’s gutty victory last night, I read this in my morning paper:

Even before the results from New Hampshire came in Tuesday, Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Hillary Clinton was already retooling her campaign, looking ahead to later contests in the primary process. Several new faces are expected to come aboard, including Maggie Williams, a longtime confidante to the former first lady, and Doug Sosnik, who served as White House political director under former President Clinton, according to officials. Roy Spence, CEO and chairman of Austin advertising agency GSD&M’s Idea City, could be taking on a bigger role in Clinton’s campaign, several media outlets reported.

Roy Spence was one of the founders of GSD&M, the powerful Austin-based agency which was built largely on the Wal-Mart account, a GSD&M client for nearly 20 years.

Now let me make something clear right off the bat: I don’t have a problem with the fact that Spence helped build the Wal-Mart brand. If you work in advertising on the level Spence does, you’re going to service brands that don’t necessarily mesh with every aspect of your politics. I’m a grown up and I get that.

But what I find odd about this is Hillary already has a world-class ad man on her team, Jimmy Siegel, who produced some of the best political advertising I’ve ever seen for Elliot Spitzer.

Spence is a legend in the ad business and an unusually talented man, but he’s lost his edge. There’s a late 80s/early 90s feel to him. GSD&M has been struggling of late, recently losing a trio of big accounts including Wal-Mart, AT&T and Chili’s. And he’s recently taken to idiosyncratic flights of fancy, like his Forrest Gump-esque walk around the country:

Spence was criticized for stepping away from some of his day-to-day duties at the agency, turning attention toward things such as his "Walk Across America," in which he plans to traverse portions of the United States for several years, meeting with ordinary folks.


After Mark Penn’s sleazy performance on "Hardball" and watching Terry McAullife last night with Andrea Mitchell, I really do wonder sometimes about the people the Clintons surround themselves with.

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