Women in Advertising – Creating Success in a Competitive World
Our owner and creative director, Jennie Westerman Diemont, was recently interviewed and featured in New Orleans CityBusiness’ Path to Excellence feature issue. Read the excerpt below, or read the article in full here.
by Autumn Cafiero Giusti
New Orleans is a city where tourism and politics reign. And advertising and marketing agencies are the ones that crown them.
It’s a competitive field, and agencies are in a constant battle for survival. The ones that make it get to be part of an elite class of agencies that serve as go-to firms for come of the city’s best known organizations and politicians.
Three women-owned agencies and their founders have defied the odds to claim a piece of the local advertising and marketing landscape.
Jennie Westerman Diemont
Owner and creative director, Deep Fried Advertising
The night Jennie Westerman Diemont moved to New Orleans from Pennsylvania, she attended a party where she got her first taste of a Southern delicacy – deep-fried pickles.
Even though Diemont hails from Baton Rouge, it was something she had never seen before and found a bit odd.
“I remember saying to my friends, ‘They’ll deep fry anything in this city,’” she said.
Diemont didn’t realize it at the time, but with that comment she conceived the concept for what would eventually be her own boutique ad agency – Deep Fried Advertising.
Since its start in 2004, the agency has served clients that include Aunt Sally’s Pralines, The Shops at Canal Place, Hola Nola Foods and Triton Stone Group.
Before starting the company, Diemont worked for a variety of agencies and newspapers around New Orleans for two and a half years. While working as a staff designer for a newspaper, she found herself getting frustrated because businesses would copy the ads she designed for them and then use the ads in other publications.
Diemont started to notice that a lot of companies relied on in-house designers like herself because they didn’t have the option of going to an agency firm to have their ads designed efficiently and effectively.
At that time, the only firms in town were bigger agencies, and there were not many small shops available. Diemont decided to change that.
“The core of what I wanted to do was be efficient,” she said. “I remembered that name – ‘deep fried.’ It sounded homegrown and relatable and memorable. I figured if you can deep-fry pickles, you can deep-fry advertising, too.”
In building the business, Diemont wanted it to be a small space where clients could get advertising without having to spend a fortune.
One of the most difficult lessons Diemont learned was that she would have to be willing to let go of some clients along the way.
“You want to be able to help out the smaller businesses, but you have to be profitable, too. Probably the hardest part is to find that middle ground,” she said.
Despite the growing competition and the changing nature of the industry, Deep Fried Advertising has managed to continue its growth and has more than doubled it staff from five to 12 people.
“I think people want to do business with honest vendors,” Diemont said. “Staying true to our mission and our core – which is delivering effective work for our clients – has always been important.”
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