Three executives from MDC Partners' CP&B -- Dave Schiff, Scott Prindle and John Kieselhorst -- are breaking away to form Made, an agency billed as the first marketing firm focused on supporting a resurgence in American manufacturing.
The trio, who say they will specialize in brand-building and communications efforts to help U.S. companies better compete against global rivals, are in the tradition of a number of other CP&Bers who have gone on to open independent marketing firms. They include Boulder, Colo.-based Victors & Spoils, whose founders include former CP&B execs John Winsor and Evan Fry ; Stick & Move in Philadelphia, now part of Red Tettemer; and Goodness Mfg., which has Los Angeles and New York offices and was founded by execs who worked together at CP&B for a decade.
While at CP&B, Mr. Schiff was a VP-exec creative director, Mr. Prindle was VP-exec technology director and Mr. Kieselhorst exec design director. Collectively, they worked on clients such as Burger King, Domino's, BMW's Mini Cooper, Volkswagen, Best Buy, Sprite and Coke Zero.
"CP&B is a great agency, and I could never see myself leaving to go to another agency," said Mr. Schiff in a statement. "But this is a mission. We work a lot in advertising, and I want to put every hour into building something I'm deeply committed to. ... More than 5.5 million U.S. manufacturing jobs have been lost or outsourced since 2001, yet if the average American spent 1% more on American-made goods and services, it would create 250,000 new jobs. We feel like we can help make that happen and more."
Underpinning the strategy is the partners' belief that the "buy American" mentality won't fade even after the economy improves and unemployment rates fall. Still, in a global environment, the shop risk shutting itself out of future possibilities to work on exciting business, which could make it harder to hire and retain talent.
Mr. Schiff insists that 's not a concern. "We don't really think we will run out of exciting opportunities. We believe there are plenty of people who will want to join this movement -- both on the client and on the talent side."
The launch is being funded by an undisclosed venture-capital firm. "One of the reasons we're confident that we can attract clients and talent is because of how exciting the idea has been to investors," said Mr. Schiff. "We're working with a new venture fund that has a 'brand communities' focus. They have no other investments in the agency world."
Asked if Made is launching with clients, Mr. Schiff said it is in discussions with potential marketers. "We are talking with several clients, but we want to build the agency around the mission," he said. "In our opinion, too many agencies launch around a single big client and essentially become in-house marketing."