In 1994, our founder, Arnie Malham, was fired from his job at Nashville’s CBS Affiliate. His work on the side—a small ad agency run out of his home—got noticed by his bosses, who felt it represented a conflict of interest with his work at the station. It was go time, and fortunately, the trust placed in him by his first clients—J. Marshall Hughes, Bob Crumley, and Bill Berg—set the foundation for years to come.
Arnie and Jimmy Bewley, our longstanding Vice President and General Counsel, determined over time that an uncompromising focus on both client success and employee culture proved to be a winning and sustaining formula. cj Advertising grew to be the largest full-service advertising agency exclusively serving personal injury brands in the country. The agency now serves 33 local clients in 48 markets across the U.S. and Canada, as well as over 10 national clients.
cj has been recognized as one of the “Best Places to Work in Nashville,” and the agency was a recipient of the Nashville Business Journal’s Best in Business Award in 2012.
In 2018, Arnie and Jimmy stepped aside to usher in a new era for our agency. Chad Dudley and Micki Love have taken the helm to drive our clients and our employees forward with their industry expertise and aggressive focus on agency growth.
cj’s CORE VALUES
Core Values Established by Arnie and His Personal Experience. Carried Out by All cj Team Members.
Camel Culture Origin Story
cj Advertising Founder and former President Arnie Malham has granted our agency with a meaningful and unique legacy. His story, and ultimately this agency’s story, is one of resilience, optimism, and of taking seeds of negativity to cultivate a beautiful garden. That garden is our agency’s culture. For more than 25 years, the cj family has reaped the rewards, continually evolving and growing together.
The Legacy of The Camel
Arnie, a native of Arkansas with Lebanese heritage, attended college at Ole Miss. On the third day of his freshman year, he was walking the campus with his new friends when an old pickup truck pulled alongside them. A guy leaned out of the window, glared at Arnie and his friends, and screamed “Hey you! Go home, camel jockey!”
Arnie, confused by what he just heard, asked his new friends, “Who’s he talking to?” They said, “He’s talking to you, dumbass.” Back then, Arnie was a self-professed “redneck from Arkansas” and couldn’t understand why this slur was directed at him. Besides, there are no camels in Lebanon, where his family is from. There sure as heck aren’t any in Brinkley, Arkansas where Arnie grew up. But the nickname stuck. Everywhere he went with his friends, they’d introduce him as their “camel-jockey friend.” It half- irritated Arnie, but he didn’t let it rattle him too much.
He knew there had to be a purpose behind the experience and the nickname. You’ve probably already had the “ah-ha” moment by now where you realize that cj stands for camel jockey, and well, the camel mascot goes without explanation at this point. Arnie took something that was meant to be hurtful and intimidating and allowed it to fuel his ambition when it came time to name his newly created ad agency. The result is a thriving business with a culture of inclusivity. In the past, the story of the camel has been shared as a rite of passage for new members of the cj family. But our team, with the blessing of Arnie Malham, decided that sharing the story of cj and the camel is especially important now. Inspired by the recent uprisings against racial inequality across the nation, we are casting aside the illusion of separateness. The story of the camel belongs to all of us here at cj. And now it belongs to you. To read more about Arnie’s story and cj culture, check out Arnie’s book, “Worth Doing Wrong” at worthdoingwrong.com.