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Traction #84: Why You Need A Vacation

By: Richard Coad [MDB Chief Creative Officer]

The workforce of the United States has always been known for its "nose to the grindstone" approach.  We have always been ranked as one of the most competitive countries in the world.  However, while U.S. workers average longer hours than those in other countries, most receive only ten days vacation each year.  By comparison, European countries offer more than 30 vacation days a year and shorter hours. 

The logical conclusion would be to say U.S. productivity far exceeds that of our European friends.

On the contrary, despite longer vacations and shorter hours, some European countries are more productive than the U.S.  Countries like Belgium and the Netherlands offer employees between 28 and 30 vacation days a year and they are 2% more productive than U.S. workers. 

One could argue that more vacation time has a positive effect on productivity.  Does that mean less vacation has a negative effect?  

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MDB Adds Steve Stern as EVP

MDB Communications [Press Release]

Washington, DC (March 18, 2014) -

MDB Communications named Steve Stern its executive vice president. MDB reports that Stern brings "decades of national and regional agency experience from his time at Bozell and LM&O; a keen focus and understanding of market research from his leadership at WBA Research; and a clear passion for the “client perspective” from his client-side experience at McGladrey and MCI Communications.

"Additionally, his consumer category experience in the hospitality, retail and finance industries, complemented with his digital leadership and top-level government contracting knowledge will be essential to providing top-tier client service."

“We look forward to Steve’s leadership to help guide our team and respective client brands to capitalize upon the opportunities created by today’s rapidly transforming business and media environment, and the fast-growing digital sector” said Cary Hatch, CEO of MDB.

Stern has worked for a range of national and international consumer, association, and financial brands including: National Guard, Verizon Federal, AARP, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, MCI - Friends & Family, Coldwell Banker, American Heart Association, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, U.S. Public Health Service and Virginia Railway Express.


Traction #83: At Long Last, the Secret of Creativity Revealed

By: Richard Coad [MDB Chief Creative Officer]

Benjamin Franklin spent his morning taking "air baths" and sat naked in front of an open window for an hour to stimulate creative thinking. Marcel Proust made himself a breakfast of croissants and opium. Beethoven counted on coffee and methodically measured out his coffee beans.

Historically, while creative minds have many different ways to jump start their work, in his new book "Daily Rituals: How Great Minds Make Time, Find Inspiration and Get to Work," Mason Currey concludes "there's no one way to get things done." For example, at one extreme, there's the writer Anthony Trollope who timed himself to make sure that he wrote 250 words per quarter hour. At the other extreme is Sylvia Plath who was unable to stick to any schedule at all. 

Nonetheless, here are six lessons that Mason Currey has gleaned from history's most creative minds... 

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The 2014 Advertising Forecast: Partly Sunny with Occasional Turbulence


While there appears to be a slow return to client investment in the economic engine of marketing; it is decidedly “tepid”. At best.

Globally, there are notable opinions around a modest uptick in advertising investment for 2014; it also seems to center around specific events: The Olympics, The World Cup, etc. which certainly creates a lift in the host countries.

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