Belgian indie agency opens New York outpost

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[New York] As independent creative shops based in places like London, Amsterdam, Toronto and even Shanghai flock to open New York agencies, the latest contender is from the unlikelier country of Belgium. That country's leading independent agency, Duval Guillaume, is opening a tiny New York office this week, to be run by General Manager David Simpson, 48. Mr. Simpson, am American who grew up in Belgium, was senior VP-business development at Pedone & Partners, New York. He said he approached Duval Guillaume at a time when the agency, which was already doing pan-European work from its two Belgian offices in Brussels and Antwerp, was at a crossroads about its own development and how to further grow. In Europe, the 8-year-old shop's clients include Sara Lee, Virgin Group, brewery giant InBev, Kimberly-Clark Corp., H.J. Heinz Co. and Microsoft Corp. Mr. Simpson said two of Duval Guillaume's clients may work with the New York shop, too.

The influx of independent shops to New York includes Amsterdam's StrawberryFrog, Toronto's Taxi and London's Mother. Amsterdam's 180 is eyeing New York and has been handed an undisclosed branding assignment by Motorola (AA, April 4).

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