Mark Figliulo Becomes Latest Big Agency Creative to Launch a Small Shop

Creative Vet Steps Down at TBWA, New York; Succeeded by Deutsch LA's Matt Ian

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Add Mark Figliulo to the list of creatives leaving behind their careers at big agencies to try and run small, independent shops.

Mark Figliulo
Mark Figliulo

Mr. Figliulo is exiting the top creative post at TBWA's New York office to hang his own shingle and start a new Big Apple agency. In his place, the Omnicom shop will install Matt Ian -- who's rejoining the agency after spending time there earlier in his career. Mr. Ian most recently was an ECD at Deutsch Los Angeles.

"I wasn't actively looking to leave Deutsch, LA or Volkswagen," said Mr. Ian in a statement. "But when I met Robert and talked with him about his plans for the NY office, jumping at the chance to write the next chapter of the TBWAChiatDay NY story was a no-brainer."

Other stops at agencies for Mr. Ian include CP&B, where he worked on Microsoft Windows, BBH, New York where he worked on Axe and Levi's, and Ogilvy, New York.

Mr. Ian, who's joining in August, is part of a new group of senior executives that TBWA New York President Robert Harwood-Matthews has recruited in the past year, including Aki Spicer, Ed Castillo and Leigh Baker. "Matt's pedigree is fantastic and I know he's excited about returning to New York, his hometown," said Mr. Harwood-Matthews in a statement.

Mr. Figliulo couldn't be immediately reached to discuss his plans. He was hired by TBWA in 2008 from WPP's Y&R Chicago. He replaced Gerry Graf, who decamped TBWA for Publicis Groupe's Saatchi & Saatchi before launching his own agency.

The list of creatives who are downsizing their careers and starting their own shops is growing rapidly. Among them: Mr. Graf, former DraftFCB creative Tom O'Keefe; former Goodby creative Jamie Barrett; former BBDO creative Eric Silver; and former EuroRSCG Roger Camp. The latter four will speak at the Ad Age Small Agency Conference in Portland this week about what they've learned in this new phase of their careers.

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