NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Naked Communications is expanding in the U.S. with the opening of a Minneapolis office, marking the first expansion move the U.K.-based brand strategy firm has made in the U.S. since its 2006 launch in New York.
Running the new office will be Lisa Seward Perry and Amy Sheil, who have joined Naked as partners. Ms. Seward Perry is the onetime media director of Publicis Groupe's Fallon, but most recently served as president of Mod Communications, a company she founded in 2007. Ms. Sheil had served as the media director at MDC Partners' Crispin Porter & Bogusky, working on accounts such as Best Buy and Domino's until she left that agency's Boulder, Colo., office in March to relocate to Minneapolis.
"We worked for great places and were really lucky to work for super-creative agencies that are capable of creative answers," said Ms. Seward Perry. "But at the end of the day, typically, the answer is still an advertising answer. More and more you see instances where the solution to the problem is really" something else, such a different packaging or merchandising strategy, or adjusting the channels where marketing dollars are being spent. She added: "Naked sits outside [the traditional advertising agency], and we've always been sort of jealous of that."
"There's more and more clients every day waking up and realizing that the old model doesn't work," said Paul Woolmington, founding partner at Naked. According to him, the agency in the past year has grown relationships with current clients. Naked's domestic roster includes Coca-Cola, Johnson & Johnson, Kraft, Google, NBC, Planned Parenthood, Heineken and Dunkin' Donuts.
"This is just part of a series of moves in development. We are actively looking for the right talent that will support [Ms. Seward Perry and Ms. Sheil] in Minneapolis. ... Minneapolis is a hotbed of strategic talent and always has been." Mr. Woolmington said that opening in the Midwestern city helps strengthen Naked's stateside offering and gives the agency more flexibility to service current clients around the country, while opening up the possibility to add new ones.
While there are no plans currently on the table to open more U.S. offices in the near-term, Mr. Woolmington said that "we would not rule out opening more offices if a huge opportunity presented itself."
Ms. Seward Perry and Ms. Sheil join a staff of some 30 full-time strategists in the U.S. out of 200 globally. This past spring, Naked lost M.T. Carney, also a founding partner of Naked's U.S. office and recently named one of Ad Age's Women to Watch, to Walt Disney.