What we stand for, and what we believe

By David Card
Blog Post

Recently, we were reminded of what we stand for at C42D, and the values we hold close to our hearts.

These values form the bedrock of the principles that guide our decisions, interactions, and the proverbial lines we draw in the sand.

So, what do we believe?



Nothing happens without trust. Trust between agency and client, trust among team members, and trust that we have been here before and can help. When trust breaks down, it’s like the unraveling of a sweater, and before long you’ve lost the shirt off your back. 


The Truth

We will tell it like it is. The straight, unvarnished truth is our greatest asset, both internally as a team and when engaging with clients and partners. Honest conversations do not mean hurtful conversations. Being direct and kindness go hand-in-hand – when we deceive, we’re not respecting the other, and trust is undermined. Truth creates trust and respect, and the space for good work. It’s a virtuous cycle. 



Respect gets thrown around a lot, and some may feel it goes without saying, but here goes: If we can’t respect each other, we shouldn’t work together. Everyone is obliged to be human.

Respect is bigger than just an agreement between client and agency — or boss and employee. We must also respect the audiences for the brands we build. We’ll never build something intentionally evil, deceptive, or that hurts others. The same goes for the environment, the planet itself. Sorry, Exxon.

A final point on respect: we’re all under pressure, and sometimes things don’t go as planned. We get it, and we feel it too. It is no excuse to mistreat others. 



C42D was founded in Queens, New York City. It’s the most ethnically diverse urban area on the planet – and it’s also the most linguistically diverse, with at least 138 languages spoken throughout the borough.

We’ve all learned how to get along and accept everyone for who they are, and the work we create reflects this rainbow of color. For us, inclusion isn’t a buzzword or a trend. It’s our default state.

Deep down, we’re all 99.99% the same DNA. 


The Good

We won’t work for the armies of Sauron. If your brand’s behavior, products, services, or institutions harm, deceive or hurt others don’t expect a return call. We’re not into marginalizing entire groups of people, furthering inequality, killing the planet, or any other evil behavior. If you do this, don’t work with us.

We exist to make the world a better place, not F it up more.



We are going to borrow a value from our friend Brian Collins and talk about priorities at C42D:

Our People > The Work > The Client’s Customers > The Client.

Without taking care of our people first, the work suffers. But when our people are set up to do their best, then the incredible creative work we do comes to life, the client’s customers are happy and the client benefits.

See? Putting the client last actually benefits them the most. 



Taking care of our people means staying true to all the values above.

When there’s a foundation of trust and respect, when there are honest and candid conversations, when all voices are considered and heard, good things happen. Outstanding work is created, we experience better relationships, help happy customers who patronize profitable clients, and hopefully, create a world that’s just a little bit better than it was yesterday. 

That’s what we stand for, and what we believe at C42D.




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