|M.T. Carney, Partner, Naked Communications|
When the U.K. communications planning shop announced its New York lineup, Ms. Carney, a Scottish-born former account planner at Ogilvy & Mather, New York, was the lesser-known half of the pair tapped to bring its brand of communications planning to a country that hadn't really seen it before. Her partner, Paul Woolmington, is a well-known industry veteran of places like Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners' The Media Kitchen, Young & Rubicam and Mediaedge:cia. He's also a past Media Maven himself.
The agency will team with fellow hotshop Taxi to rebrand OLN, the cable network best known for broadcasting the NHL and Tour de France, as Versus. Naked has been working with Johnson & Johnson, though Ms. Carney declines to talk about the relationship. (J&J says the company doesn't comment on partners.) It also just picked up some global duties for Coca-Cola Co.'s Far Coast coffee launch.
"You don't get much exposure to business development when you're a brand planner," says Naked co-founder John Harlow. "She has a fierce intellect, and clients are just taking to her. "
Mr. Harlow says he's happy with the way the marketers are taking up the Naked model. The New York operation, he says, is expected to triple original projections. "They're exceeding all expectations."
Naked is premised on the notion that communications need not involve an ad buy. As such, it positions itself as neither a creative agency-Naked doesn't execute on the strategy it creates-nor as a media agency. As digital channels proliferate and commercial clutter accumulates, it's only natural that marketers would be taken with any counsel that can help them reach their targets-especially if that doesn't involve heavy outlays on traditional media.
"I thought I had a broad idea of what communication is, but every day it just seeps further and further out," says Ms. Carney.
* Has helped pick up blue-chip work from Coca-Cola, Nokia and Virgin Mobile
* Strategist, not creative or media shop