BATAVIA, Ohio (AdAge.com) -- Two Procter & Gamble Co. marketers are joining Rockfish Interactive to form a Cincinnati branch of the fast-growing Northwest Arkansas-based digital agency, giving a shop that counts behemoths Walmart Stores and P&G among its clients an additional foothold as it seeks to double headcount for the second year in a row.
Dave Knox, currently P&G brand manager for global branded entertainment, a well-followed marketing blogger (HardKnoxLife.com) and one of Adverting Age's "25 Media People You Should Follow on Twitter" will join Rockfish as VP-chief marketing officer. Bryan Radtke, brand manager for retail innovation and scale at P&G, joins Rockfish as VP on the strategy team.
Rockfish Interactive, which in 2009 was named Ad Age's first Small Agency of the Year, is one of the fastest-growing agencies in the business. Cincinnati will be the fifth office for Rockfish after Rogers and Little Rock, Ark.; Frisco, Texas, near Dallas; and Mill Valley, Calif., near San Francisco. The agency has about 120 employees, said CEO Kenny Tomlin, up from 72 at the end of last year and on the way to an anticipated 140 by the end of this year. He said the agency also expects to as much as double revenue to $14 million to $16 million this year, up from $8 million last year, after having doubled headcount and revenue in 2009.
A third yet-to-be-named agency executive will join the Cincinnati office when it opens in mid-September, Mr. Tomlin said.
The move "is more about the people than the place," Mr. Tomlin said, adding that it's not intended as a platform for winning more P&G business but to "serve the entire company." Both Mr. Knox and Mr. Radtke, like Rockfish, have experience in digital and shopper marketing, and Mr. Tomlin said he'd also like to do more work in branded entertainment, which has been Mr. Knox's most recent position. Rockfish has done some digital work for P&G brands such as Pantene, but mainly executes shopper marketing programs with P&G's customer team.
"I've known these guys since they started up shop, and just watched them keep going," said Mr. Knox of Rockfish. "I was on the [P&G] Walmart customer team when they started up. I just watched with admiration in their view of the agency world, in their view of technology."
Rockfish Labs launched as an incubator for new marketing technologies and concepts last year in Northwest Arkansas, and Mr. Knox has recently spearheaded the Brandery, a state-funded incubator for marketing and technology in Cincinnati.