Say hello to a new self-proclaimed “ideas” shop and creative partner, JR. (that's not a typo) Agency, named after its founders—Magnus Jakobsson and Evelina Rönnung, an award-winning creative duo based in Stockholm who have produced memorable work for brands like Ikea and McDonald’s. Jakobsson hails from Swedish agency Åkestam Holst, where he was executive creative director, and Rönnung from MDC-owned F&B, where she was a senior creative. The duo say their new shop will offer creative and strategic services to “curious clients” who may not want “a crowd” at a large agency working on their business. They say they target “brands who want to break free from the status quo of marketing” and if they can’t “make it interesting, we don’t make it at all.” Jakobsson says some might call them “a bit naive. However, we believe that as an independent agency, we don’t have to bow to anyone or anything but the temple of great ideas.” Rönnung adds, “Most agency of record-deals are basically out the window these days, so we want to offer more flexible ways of working with creative top talent for brands who need to boost their marketing beyond both in-house agencies and traditional agency-collaborations.”
MuteSix joins the Dentsu family
Dentsu Aegis Network is buying MuteSix, a 120-person digital-performance and direct-to-consumer marketing agency, to join the holding company’s iProspect network. Going forward, Dentsu says the agency will go by the (lengthy and unoriginal) name of MuteSix, an iProspect Company. Headquartered in Los Angeles, MuteSix was founded in 2015 by CEO Steve Weiss and President Daniel Rutberg, who will continue to lead the agency and report to iProspect U.S. CEO Jeremy Cornfeldt. “With their expertise in this unique segment of the market, combined with our deep experience working with larger portfolio enterprise companies and global performance marketers, we now offer a full suite of performance marketing solutions for clients at every stage of their growth,” Cornfeldt says.
We have a winner
WPP’s Wavemaker retains the global $53 million—according to COMvergence estimates—media account of Chevron following a review. MEC had held the media account for 16 years before the energy company launched a procurement-driven review of its agencies earlier this year. (Wavemaker was formed in 2017 through the merger of MEC and Maxus.)
Northwell Health, New York’s largest healthcare provider, names StrawberryFrog its agency-of-record following a review. The appointment ends Northwell’s relationship with incumbent agency of record WPP’s Wunderman Thompson. StrawberryFrog expects to debut work for the client in the first quarter of 2020.
Knoxville-based Tombras picks up the Krusteaz pancake and baking mix brand of CPG company Continental Mills following a review managed by Mercer Island Group. Under the partnership, Tombras will handle strategic planning, brand creative, digital, social media and analytics for the Krusteaz business. “You better believe with a name like Krusteaz and being in the pancake category we’re going to have some serious fun with the creative,” says Dooley Tombras, agency president.
Bojangles, the Charlotte, N.C.-based southern-style restaurant chain, names EP&Co as its lead creative agency following a review. The partnership takes effect on Oct. 1, when the agency will take over responsibilities for traditional advertising including in-store marketing, social content, brand strategy and planning. Joanne Davis Consulting managed the review that began earlier this year. “EP&Co brought us fresh, bold ideas that are going to resonate with both our current and future customer,” says Bojangles Chief Marketing Officer Jackie Woodward. “We loved their forward-looking approach and the energy they are going to infuse in our brand and business.”
Spanish restaurant franchise Grupo Rodilla selects Miami-based Zubi as its advertising agency of record to support its launch in the U.S. Zubi, part of WPP, will provide full-service integrated marketing programs for Rodilla under the partnership. “We are very happy to get to Miami,” Rodilla CEO Maria Carceller says. “It is an important step for the company and, therefore, we want to do it hand-in-hand with those partners who share with us commitment, good work and innovation.”
Milwaukee marketing agency Hanson Dodge picks up the State of Utah’s Office of Tourism website business in a five-year contract following a government procurement-led review. Under the partnership, Hanson Doge will redesign and support the development of visitutah.com. The agency expects to debut new website work in January 2020.
And this week’s hires …
Vice creative agency Virtue names Rob Newlan as global president, Krystle Watler as managing director of North America and Simon Mogren as executive creative director, U.S. The agency says the appointments follow 24 new client wins this past year. Newlan previously was CEO of the agency’s EMEA and Asia regions; Watler was senior VP and head of business development for North America; and Mogren joins the agency after spending time at DDB Stockholm, Ogilvy Paris and BBDO New York.
Cogniscient Media, part of Marc USA, promotes Sadie Barlow to the new position of director of integrated media. She was serving as associate media director for Marc USA. In her new role, Barlow will ensure key disciplines such as analytics, martech, customer experience and CRM are included in every media plan from the start.
Benjamin Weisman joins full-service agency o2kl as experience design director from PureRed, where he was VP and executive creative director. Prior to that he was senior VP, digital creative innovation and director of experience design at MRM/McCann. At o2kl, Weisman will help strengthen the agency’s digital positioning.
Chicago-based independent agency Blue Chip expands its executive leadership team through the promotion of Elizabeth Bleser to senior VP of integrated media from vice president of digital strategy. The agency also promoted Jason Geis and Joel Walker, both group creative directors, to VPs.
Full-service agency Infinity Marketing has named three to coordinator positions within its media department. Nicole McAlister becomes social media and PR coordinator, Laura Mann is digital coordinator and Madi Kwiatkowski is media coordinator.