A Paperless Advertising Agency

To prepare for Earth Day last week, a few of us got together to talk about a revolutionary idea.

What if we took all the paper out of all the printers?  What would happen?

Mutiny?  Riots?  Chaos?  Probably.  But what about adaptation?  If necessity is the mother of all invention, and we forced ourselves to work within the limits of restricted resources (e.g. no paper), could we invent a new way to run our business as an advertising agency?

I think so.

Undoubtedly, there would be growing pains, but what else might happen?  We would probably be more cost efficient, but more importantly we would be forced to come up with innovations.  We would find more effective digital solutions for internal reviews and brainstorms.  We would find new partners who would influence our thinking in all sorts of exciting new ways.  We would generate buzz as the first agency in this paper-intensive industry to have the guts to at least try to go paperless.  And if we were successful for that one day, we could try it for a week.  And then a month.  And then a year.  And then we could become a consultant for other agencies interested in going paperless, the same way that Nike and Interface have become consultants for other businesses in the sustainability arena.

Of course, there are a lot of people in this industry who would say that trying to go paperless would be too disruptive.  But that’s what this business is all about.  Creative disruptions that lead to breakthrough innovations.

So what do you think we would need to do to in order to go paperless at GSD&M?  It all begins with your ideas below.

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