Last Day for Staff at Modernista Is Friday

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Gary Koepke
Gary Koepke

After more than a decade as a force in the Boston ad market, indie agency Modernista is now officially closing its doors. The last day for staff will be this Friday, and Founder and Executive Creative Director Gary Koepke plans to wind up client business by May 15.

The news comes nearly two months after Modernista was at a crossroads; Mr. Koepke in early March told Ad Age he was weighing either shuttering the office entirely or giving it a go at rebranding the shop and nixing the Modernista name because it carried "baggage."

"After assessing things I decided to close the doors," said Mr. Koepke. "The history of Modernista will officially end in a couple of weeks ... I will shut it down and look to the next chapter."

Modernista was founded by Mr. Keopke and Lance Jensen in 2000, and at its peak, the boutique shop had about 150 employees, satellite offices in Amsterdam and Detroit, and an impressive roster of clients including General Motors' Cadillac and Hummer, MTV and the Gap. But the agency was hit hard by client pullbacks during the recession as well as the fallout of General Motors' bankruptcy. It initiated rounds of layoffs and restructuring attempts in 2008, and since that time, a number of staff began exiting.

Most recently it suffered the loss of co-founder Mr. Jensen, who went to cross-town shop Hill Holliday. As of March, Modernista had about 45 staffers, and counted as clients Sears, 20th Century Fox and snack company Food Should Taste Good. Right now, the shop is down to a skeleton staff of about 10 people.

Read more about what Gary Koepke plans to do next and Modernista's closing on And take a look back at Modernista's most memorable work.

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