I just noticed a posting on Agency Spy that referred to the current incarnation of the company as "Chiat/LA" or "Chiat."
I posted a comment (which got zapped by the editors) that the company is now called "TBWA\Chiat\Day," thank you very much. I mean, if they want to refer to the company, they should really just short-hand-it by saying "TBWA." Comparing the two corporate cultures is like comparing Frank Sinatra with Weird Al Yankovic. (I stretch the metaphor, but you get the point.)
Then, there's the little issue of the "backslash" instead of the "forward" slash. When we were Chiat/Day, we used the forward slash. The new corporate entity uses the "backwards" slash, as in "TBWA\Chiat\Day."
I just spoke to Amy Miyano, the greatest of all Art Studio Heads to ask her if maybe I was confused all these years. Maybe we did use the backwards slash. She said "no," that some new corporate letterhead designer thought the backslash looked better.
Addendum: I received this tidbit from Ken Segall ....
Personally, I've always thought that the use of the backward-slash in TBWA\Chiat\Day is just plain silly. It adds nothing, though it does an excellent job of confusing things for various publications and sites that care to write about the company. I can fill in some of the blanks about the evolution of the slash, since I was in the agency when certain events took place.
Here's what I recall. (If I get any of the facts wrong, maybe someone can correct me.)
Chiat/Day was always just that. Normal forward-slashes. After the merger, it was simply TBWA/Chiat/Day. Still forward-slashes. Sometime near the end of my last stay at Chiat LA (probably 1999-ish), Lee spearheaded a project to re-jig the agency image. A very lavish, oversized hardcover book — encased in a gorgeous shiny red box — was created to represent the agency and its values. I imagine it was used for new business purposes, and to get the offices in different cultures around the world to drink the juice. The book included an agency manifesto written by John Hunt, then creative director in South Africa. (He later headed the NY office for a time, with the title of worldwide CD.) As part of this project, Lee's "worldwide director of art" worked with a design team to resculpt the agency website and take a fresh look at the logo. Out of this effort was born the reverse-slashed version of TBWA\Chiat\Day.
The new site and new graphics debuted at our annual Worldwide Creative Directors Conference held during the Cannes Festival that year. I was in the room when the new design was unveiled, and heard the rationale for why they did what they did. Lee's art director explained to the assembled creative leaders that the slashes had been switched in order to "point forward," because Chiat is so future-oriented. I still kick myself for not speaking up at the time, because I was truly just a whisper away from saying, "Uh ... but those slashes are actually pointing backwards. That's why they're called 'backslashes.'" However, I didn't want to rain on anyone's parade, and by that time I was thinking more about the lavish meal we'd be enjoying immediately after.
The rest is history.
Kenny, Michael Rylander says the pitch book was yellow and is actually sending me a copy!
And here it is, courtesy of Michael Rylander, proof positive that TBWA, which wanted to use a "forward slash" to show how future-oriented the company is, is actually using a "backward slash." (Look it up in Wikipedia!) Thank you, Michael!
Oops. Wait a minute. Laurie Coots something to say:
It isn't about modern it was about hierarchy.
Here's our blurb:
The slash is our rallying cry.
The worldwide symbol that brings us together.
Constantly pointing us toward the future.
Challenging us to think not only about “what is”
but also “what could be.”
It connects the most passionate, creative minds in the world,
granting them the independence to believe in their instincts
and trust the magic.
It is a symbol of our prime skill.
Our ability to see and define the possibilities of tomorrow,
and to transform a client’s future through the power of an idea.
It is our diagonal lightning rod for change.
In classical taxonomy when you write the slash this way "/" it usually means that what follows the slash is subordinate or lesser than what came before the slash. A daughter phrase
Whereas, when you use the backslash "\" what follows the slash is equal to, and a peer of the what came on the other side, I understand this is also the rule in computer programming.
We used this explanation to help us get 250 offices to change their agency names so that they lead with TBWA\...
And that's the real fucking story.