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Thanks for having me on NewsNation. As I said in the full interview,

“I applaud Bud Light’s efforts to be inclusive. I believe their initial thinking was right to expand their consumer base and make Bud Light a brand for everyone. I would have loved to see more influencers from the LGBTQ community involved in Bud Light’s campaign, and have it continue into Pride Month with a bigger payoff. It is unfortunate that there was such a backlash of anger, but I think Bud Light needed to respond. Any response. The silence was worse than the backlash. I believe you have to support those you bring into your mix and make part of your team. It would have been nice to see Bud Light organize a round table discussion with Kid Rock, Dylan and others. Have them sit down, share a Bud Light and discuss their differences and points of view. Sharing a beer always helps us see the person on the other side of the table as human, even if we don’t fully agree with each other. My heart goes out to the marketing team and families that were laid off at Budweiser. But, I think any publicly traded company has the right to start fresh with a new team, a new direction and re-align their thinking. They have some work to do over there.”



The Newly Formed Advertising and Brand Design Agency Will Use Data Insights to Drive Creative Data Insights to Drive Creative.

Los Angeles, July 27, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Michael Vamosy, a seasoned branding and advertising executive, and recent Emmy Award winner is teaming up with analytics and strategy firm SmithGeiger to launch the new advertising and brand design agency SmithGeigerFATHOM, a division of SmithGeiger.

Vamosy, the Co-Founder & Chief Creative Officer, infuses SmithGeigerFATHOM’s creative and design firepower with the 20-year commitment to insights and strategy that SmithGeiger delivers throughout the media landscape. Together, they will offer 360 creative services across media, entertainment, eSports, and consumer brands, with a deep focus on new frontiers, innovative branding, and campaign solutions.

“It’s the perfect marriage of art and engineering,” says Vamosy. “In today’s ever-changing landscape, data helps to inform creative. It’s a real benefit working with a strategy and analytics team with such deep roots in media and consumer brands.”

Dave Smith and Seth Geiger see this as the next evolution in their commitment to clients across the media landscape. “We are very excited to team up with Michael. After the first meeting during a large-scale re-design for a leading media client, our sensibilities immediately clicked. We’ve never worked with a creative so responsive to data insights. Michael was able to convert each takeaway, elevating the creative vision while continuing to outpace expectations for the client”, says Seth Geiger, founder and President of SmithGeiger.

Fostering enhanced client relationships will be one of the primary efforts in this new agency model. SmithGeigerFATHOM plans to meet their client’s needs by keeping senior-level creatives closely connected to projects with a new structure dedicated to delivering a deeper understanding and responsiveness for those needs.

“We are building a nimble, skillful collective, using the power of design, strategic thinking, and storytelling to deliver authentic messaging,” says Vamosy. “We are committed to listening to our clients and responding to their objectives with creative solutions. We love having a dialogue, asking the hard questions, and finding the truth.”

SmithGeigerFATHOM is already a magnet for incredible talent with a wealth of experience from both the client and agency sides. “I love building teams and growing a culture centered around collaboration, creativity, and innovation. SmithGeigerFATHOM will become a beacon for top-level talent and creatives looking to expand their horizons. That’s what our clients are drawn to”, added Vamosy.


More About Michael Vamosy

Vamosy formerly served as the CCO of Stun Creative, now Known, where he led creative strategy across the company, including its branding and advertising divisions for all consumer brands, networks, studios, streaming services, and eSports.

Vamosy brings a wealth of experience from the network side, previously as SVP Creative Services at Starz, where he reorganized a team of 115+ people and led creative marketing campaigns on the network’s original series OutlanderBlack SailsPower, and DaVinci’s Demons, as well as affiliate marketing initiatives, OTT campaigns, and rebrands for Starz and Encore.

Prior to joining Starz, he was SVP of Design at FOX Broadcasting. Vamosy was the architect of FOX’s Glee campaign, “L for Loser”. He also redesigned the FOX network brand image “So FOX” and spearheaded campaigns for FringeAmerican Idol, and House, amongst others.

Before that, Vamosy was VP of Design at FX Networks. He started the network’s in-house design team ‘StudioFX’, which designed the brand looks and feel for a host of original series including The ShieldNip/Tuck, and Rescue Me.

Over the course of his career, Vamosy’s work has earned a recent Emmy Award, numerous CLIOs, PROMAX awards (including agency of the year multiple years), and New York Festivals honors.


MORE ABOUT SmithGeiger

SmithGeiger was founded 20 years ago to convert insights into strategy and ideas into action. We conduct over 500 proprietary projects each year on behalf of our clients, designing the precise approach, analytics, and engineering to guide a who’s who in the media, technology, and consumer spaces. We work closely, guiding our partners in navigating their challenges. Our partnerships invariably grow into multi-year engagements, working alongside our clients in growing and effectively meet their business objectives.

We are a collective of social scientists, data geeks, journalists, storytellers, strategists, innovators, iconoclasts, and thought leaders. We also share a common thread of curiosity, wonder, passion to find the answer, and dedication to getting it right every time. And we love what we do, every day.

Dave Smith, CEO and Founding Partner, has been an avid media observer and prognosticator since his days as a student and subsequent faculty member at the J School at the University of Missouri. Dave has been instrumental in shaping the media landscape over the past 40 years, working closely with just about every major network, cabler, station group, syndicator, and production company across the globe. Dave currently serves as the lead for our Strategy group, bringing ideas and solutions to Broadcast networks, TV stations, Cable channels, daytime talk, late-night, reality programs, working closely with senior executives across the landscape looking for his unique combination of acumen, experience, down-to-earth demeanor, and ability to cut through the noise. When Dave is not shaping the media landscape, he can be found fishing in multiple tributaries of the Yellowstone River.

Seth Geiger, President and Founding Partner has the good fortune to apply his Ph.D. in Mass Communication Research every day into solving intractable problems, creating unique designs, and constructing innovative media testing platforms. Seth has worked closely across the media and technology spaces, having had a seat at the table as an advisor and counselor at the launch of every digital media platform over the past three decades. Seth currently leads our Analytics and Insights group, focusing on creating innovative design to answer the thorniest questions with clarity and transparency, and building new approaches to extract the most acute insights on behalf of our clients. Seth works closely with a dedicated team of analysts and data scientists, constructing the SmithGeiger research process into an effective mechanism for converting data into insights and insights into strategy. You can find Seth running the beaches of Santa Barbara and skiing or mountain biking the high country around Durango, CO when he is not crunching the numbers.


Los Angeles, Aug. 11, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Recently formed 360 advertising and branding design agency, SmithGeigerFATHOM a division of data insights & strategy firm Smith Geiger announces the addition of creative director Thomas Papesca to the team. Thomas will report directly to Michael Vamosy, Co-founder & Chief Creative Officer in their Los Angeles office.

“Thomas is a great addition to our staff. His creative sensibilities, talent, thoughtfulness, vision, and attention to detail, make him an extremely valuable member to our agency and to our clients. His work with consumer brands along with his entertainment background makes him a very powerful creative with a wide range of experience,” says Vamosy.

Thomas and Michael first worked together at Starz where Thomas honed his entertainment creative skills. Thomas most recently worked at Stun, now Known, where he and Michael teamed up again on several eSports projects, major consumer branding and packaging projects for Beyond Meat before their historic IPO, and CBD powerhouse Green Roads.

“Thomas brings great energy, positivity, and a fresh perspective to our clients in a way that truly helps their business thrive,” says Vamosy.

“I’ve always admired Michael’s high standard for creativity as well as how he treats the humans behind it. He has a way of bringing out the best in creatives and building a place and culture for them to thrive in. I’ve known Michael for over 8 years now, and he has never let me down. I expect that we will do some great work together here at SmithGeigerFATHOM.” Says Thomas.

Thomas will be responsible for client communication, creative direction, and team leadership on several key endeavors as the agency plans to stay closely connected on projects with creatives and clients in complete unison.



SmithGeigerFATHOM is a Los Angeles based advertising and brand design agency co-founded by Michael Vamosy in 2020 with the data insights & strategy firm SmithGeiger. A full-service, 360 agency with a new and unique model created for the clients looking to discover and deliver unique, impactful, and authentic messaging. SmithGeigerFATHOM embraces the art and humanity to seek client’s core brand values and tap into their true potential./span>


Michael Vamosy has been on all sides of entertainment marketing, having led teams on the network side at Fox, FX and Starz and on the agency side at Stun.

While at those shops, he and his teams have created campaigns, trailers and key art for such shows as Fox’s Glee…

Now Vamosy is launching his own agency, SmithGeigerFathom, in partnership with SmithGeiger. In this conversation, SmithGeigerFATHOM’s co-founder and chief creative officer chats about his vision for his new agency, what makes it a little different, how he came to his point of view on creative leadership and how he feels entertainment marketing is evolving in the age of streaming.



What a time to start a public relations or media business. Today, for example, the Commerce Department announced the U.S. economy shrank at a 33 percent annualized pace between April and June. It’s the country’s worst quarterly contraction on record. In addition, the Labor Department reported that claims for jobless benefits rose to 1.43 million last week. The earlier weeks in July had seen jobless claims slow. However, the recent surge in COVID-19 cases has led to several states changing their plans to reopen. The reported increase in jobless claims is a result.

Ah, but there are some who see the glass half full. A pair of PRNEWS surveys, including one that will debut next month, show more than 80 percent of PR pros are optimistic about the industry’s future.

Media-pitching guru Michael Smart, for one, said way back in mid March, just days after the word pandemic entered our vocabulary, that there are two basic approaches to a crisis economy: retreat or create. During the 2008 recession a software company saw a competitor retreating, so it decided to move forward with a plan for a mobile phone. That device is known today as the Apple iPhone. On a much smaller scale but no less an example, Smart began his media-pitching business around the same time.

McDonald’s is Back

You can see both of Smart’s points, about retreating or moving ahead, in what the McDonald’s CEO said today. As nearly all of its outlets have reopened, the burger maker plans to spend a sizable “war chest” on marketing in the second half of 2020, CEO Chris Kempczinski said. That wasn’t the case earlier in the year, he admitted. The iconic brand, Kempczinski said, “went into a defensive posture” in the wake of the pandemic. “As we go into the ‘new normal’ operating environment, it is time for us to get back on the front foot.”

And where would a burger be without a cold soda? (True, we’re in a public health crisis, but indulge us.) Coca-Cola UK today made like McDonald’s, announcing that it will emerge from its ad-spending slumber that began in April. The campaign will eschew the cliched new normal in favor of a better normal. How can you not smile knowing Coke’s touch-less dispensing devices are en route to the UK? (Your mobile phone initiates pouring, of course.)

But Think First

Prudence always is good counsel. PR mergers and acquisitions expert Rick Gould, principal, Gould + Associates, advises those thinking of acquiring, launching a firm, or starting a practice group to “hire the most experienced, expert financial and legal advisors” to guide you. “They need to do it the right way or they will regret their decision to move forward with these type of projects in an uncertain economy.”

Still, what’s good enough for McDonald’s and Coke should be just fine for those interested in starting PR businesses in this moment.

Indeed, it wasn’t hard to find entrepreneurs in the PR/media space starting businesses in the midst of today’s economic morass.

A veteran PR pro in the hospitality space, Amy Ogden founded The Collective just days ago. She’s a hospitality matchmaker. Ogden’s new business has her helping travel, real estate and lifestyle brands find the best partners in PR, marketing, social media, branding, digital and creative.

“I founded The Collective during COVID because there’s never been a more critical time for… brands to partner with experts and drive the best possible bookings, purchases, revenue and brand equity,” she says.

But, we ask, travel? Today? “We’re not directing cruise ships these days. We’re directing speed boats.” Moreover, she reminds us, those speed boats “need experts at the helm.”

SmithGeigerFATHOM’s Mother

The next examples of COVD-19-inspired collaboration harken to the necessity is the mother of invention adage. Nimbleness, a major factor in business today, is also involved.

“In times of crisis, innovation thrives,” says Michael Vamosy, a partner at the just-created SmithGeigerFATHOM advertising and brand design agency.

More than that, he feels the pandemic has leveled the playing field.  A potential client said to Vamosy, ‘We would love to work with you. Just put together a presentation. We just want to make sure you’re not just a few guys working out of a garage.’

Vamosy thought a bit and responded, “Ummm…everyone is working out of their garage.” Or home office, living room, or backyard tree fort.

In this environment, “We don’t need 20,000 square feet of office space” to offer businesses expert branding advice, he says. He says SmithGeigerFATHOM will emphasize senior leadership attending to projects and personalized service.

That’s the kind of thinking that led Vamosy, an Emmy-winning veteran of the TV network world, to join with analytics and strategy firm SmithGeiger to launch SmithGeigerFATHOM.

A New Model

Similarly, veteran PR pro and PRNEWS Hall of Fame honoree Bob Pearson says the pandemic’s emphasis on remote work hastened the formation of The Next Practice, a collective of seven agencies. Without the pandemic, he tells us, “We’d probably have waited several years” until they could find office space in several cities. Founded in early July, the firm’s seven partners are located in several Texas cities as well as the N.Y. area and Hong Kong.

Instead, the collective’s seven leaders interact daily via phone, email and Zoom, but they also have a regularly-scheduled Zoom session each Friday.

“We’re not anti-office,” says Pearson, but since everyone is virtual at the moment, the partners said ‘why not begin operations now?’ Pearson is an unconventional head. “We have no org chart,” he insists, and says, “I’m at the bottom looking up.” His job, he says, is to make suggestions, “open doors” and coordinate across the seven partners.

Online Dating. Sort of.

The difficulty with travel during the pandemic also played a part in the firm’s formation. Though several of the partners knew each other previously, as well as their various specialties, Pearson says Zoom sessions the group had prior to formation constituted a “virtual dating period…it’s how people got to know each other.”

Similar to SmithGeigerFATHOM, being nimble and small enough to allow senior leaders to work on projects is the new model The Next Practice touts. Moreover, Pearson and his partners discovered that “innovation happens best in small groups” and that virtual sessions work fine. “The only thing we miss is the whiteboard,” he says.