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By Published on .

Two ex- Deutsch staffers are forming an ad agency of their own: DiNoto Lee.

Gregg DiNoto, who resigned as Deutsch creative director late last year, and Esther Lee, until March 11 director of client services, opened their new agency in downtown Manhattan at 579 Broadway. The duo first worked together in 1993 on the launch of Deutsch's "Mr. Jenkins" campaign for Schieffelin & Somerset Co.'s Tanqueray gin.

"There just comes a point when you want your own vision to be realized," Mr. DiNoto said.

Ms. Lee said the new agency was formed based on "a really strong partnership that we had at Deutsch. We have a seasoned and powerful creative and strategic track record and a new-agency nimbleness."


Ms. Lee and Mr. DiNoto do not have non-compete agreements with Deutsch. The new agency is on the lookout for liquor, automotive, beverage and financial marketers.

"We're going to take it one step at a time-one client, one project at a time," Mr. DiNoto said.

The team has pitched two potential clients-one for a project assignment only.

"You never want to lose a good person, but when it's for something like this, you have to stand up and applaud," said Deutsch CEO Donny Deutsch. "Anytime anyone does anything entrepreneurial, that's great."

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