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HeadquartersAustin, Texas,
Key people
  • Duff Stewart
  • (CEO)
  • Marianne Malina
  • (President)
  • Jay Russell[1]
  • (EVP/CCO)
  • J.B. Raftus[2]
  • (EVP/CMO)
  • Steve Gurasich[3]
  • (co-founder)
  • Roy Spence[4]
  • (co-founder)
  • Judy Trabulsi[5]
  • (co-founder)
  • Tim McClure[6]
  • (co-founder)
Number of employees

GSD&M is an advertising agency headquartered in Austin, Texas, United States. It was founded in 1971 by graduates of University of Texas at AustinRoy Spence, Judy Trabulsi, Tim McClure and Steve Gurasich, and others, as AdVantage Associates.[7] After the 1972 political campaign for former Texas Senator Ralph Yarborough, it re-organized with the 4 principals, as GSD&M. Since 1998, GSD&M has been part of the Omnicom Group. A satellite office is located in Chicago, Illinois.


Longtime clients include: Southwest Airlines [8] (30+ years), the PGA Tour (20+ years), Lennox International (15+ years), AT&T (15+ years), the U.S. Air Force,[9] (10+ years). Other notable clients include Walgreens,[10] PetSmart,[11] Northwestern Mutual,[12] Popeyes,[13] and Goodyear.[14]

Recently the agency was awarded the business for Chipotle[15] and Hampton Inn and Suites.[16]


The agency started with local retail accounts and expanded to more regional work. In 1986, the agency created the Don't Mess with Texas anti-litter slogan for the Texas Department of Transportation.

In the 1990s GSD&M began to acquire more national brands outside of Texas and was regarded as a "creative hot-shop."[17] The agency relinquished Chili's, DreamWorks, Frito-Lay, Fannie Mae and UnitedHealthcare in 2006–2007. The agency's Omnicom sibling, BBDO, was given the lead on the AT&T account, although GSD&M still has a portion of the business.

The agency was known as GSD&M until August 27, 2007 when it changed its name to GSD&M's Idea City.[18] "Idea City" was previously the name of the agency's Austin headquarters. The "Idea City" name was dropped from the firm name in January 2011.[19]

On February 5, 2009, GSD&M founder Roy Spence published It’s Not What You Sell, It’s What You Stand For. The book, co-authored with Haley Rushing, is a business book that suggests the key to high-performing organizations is that they have a purpose. Purpose, according to the book, is defined as “a definitive statement about the difference you are trying to make in the world.”

GSD&M uses "Purpose-based branding" in its approach to their clients.[20]

In 2001, following the September 11 attacks, the firm created the public service announcement short film I am an American for the Ad Council.[21]

In January 2016, Blue Bunny Ice Cream appointed GSD&M as its lead media partner.[22]


From 1987 until January 31, 2007, GSD&M was one of two agencies that held the Wal-Mart account.[citation needed] In October 2006, Wal-Mart moved its $580-million account to Draftfcb, but Draftfcb lost the account when, December 7, 2006, Wal-Mart fired two marketing executives who had led the account review and initiated a second review, alleging that the executives had accepted gifts from the agencies under consideration.

Draftfcb was not permitted to participate in the second review. GSD&M was invited to take part, but declined. "We helped build Wal-Mart from $11 billion in sales to $312 billion," said one of the agency's founders, Roy Spence. "We declare victory, and we are moving on."[23]


  1. ^ Pathak, Shareen. "Beyond SXSW: A local agency exec's tour of the real Austin". Digiday. Retrieved 22 April 2015.
  2. ^ Grisales, Claudia. "Austin Advertising Sector Surged in 2014". Austin American-Statesman. Retrieved 19 April 2015.
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  8. ^ Chicago Sun Times, June 6th 2006. “Southwest has an edge in Rare Fight”.
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  13. ^ AdWeek, “GSD&M Snares pair”
  14. ^
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  17. ^ Imperato, Gina (October 1997). "Greetings from Idea City". Fast Company. Retrieved 2008-08-09.
  18. ^ "Idea City: GSD&M Retools for the Future," Adweek Online December 27, 2007. [1]
  19. ^ "GSD&M Turning 40, Drops ‘Idea City’", AgencySpy, January 27, 2011.
  20. ^ GSD&M Finds Renewed 'Purpose'
  21. ^ Ad Council Classics: "I am an American"
  22. ^ "Blue Bunny Picks GSD&M as Media Partner for Upcoming Brand Refresh". Retrieved 2018-06-11.
  23. ^ Stuart Elliot, "Why an Agency Said No to Wal-Mart", New York Times December 15, 2006, p. C4.