NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Veteran creative Roger Camp and Jamie King, the former co-president of Euro RSCG, Chicago, are forming Camp & King, an agency with minority backing from Euro RSCG's parent, French holding company Havas.
The execs have each clocked time at a range of agencies, including Fallon, Wieden & Kennedy, Cliff Freeman & Partners and Leo Burnett, but they met at Publicis Groupe's Publicis & Hal Riney in San Francisco. Mr. King joined Hal Riney in mid-2005 as a director and rose to president-CEO before leaving in March 2009 to Join Euro RSCG. Mr. Camp joined Riney in January 2007, and left this past August.
At Riney, they worked together on new-business wins from U.S. Cellular, Beam Global Spirits and Walmart, as well as others. During their tenure, the agency worked on Pinnacle foods, maker of the Hungry Man and Vlasic brands, and Wrigley's Altoids, among other clients.
"This all started because of our prior relationship at Publicis & Hal Riney," Mr. King said. "There are many relationships in this business, and there are a few dozen special relationships. Ours was proven special by the clients we attracted and our new-business track record when we were together. The culture and the environment we created are the outcome of a great working relationship."
The launch of their startup comes as many top creatives have turned their backs on big-agency life in favor of setting up their own shops.
Mr. Camp told Ad Age last year that many creatives are looking to build new models, but that it's difficult to accomplish when working within an existing agency framework. After his departure from Riney, Mr. Camp said that he had considered several jobs at big shops, but that none excited him as much as the prospect of Camp & King.
Havas' investment in Camp & King marks the second stake the holding company has taken in a startup in as many weeks. Havas recently announced a majority-ownership stake in digital veteran Colleen DeCourcy's new social-media venture, Socialistic.
"When we started incubating this idea, we knew we wanted a strategic partner," Mr. King said. "Our goal was to maintain independence while having the scale and reach of a global entity. Roger and I can run this business and be focused on our clients' business while tapping Havas for global resources and reach."
Asked what will be unique about their agency, Mr. King said: "What we aim to do is create ideas and content that influence conversations. We expect to be able to distribute content and engage in conversations with consumers in a multichannel way. We're not PR, and we're not traditional."
Camp & King's launch clients include Gap Inc.'s Old Navy and Shaklee Corp., a nutrition company with environmentally friendly practices. For Old Navy, Mr. King said Camp & King will be "working on innovation platforms for the brand and developing non-traditional strategies and media to drive traffic into the store."
"I look forward to working with Camp & King on innovation platforms and traffic-driving projects," said Amy Curtis-McIntyre, chief marketing officer of Old Navy. "They're a great blend of strategic smarts and break-through creative ideas."