VCCP, now owned by Providence Equity and WPP following the £374m buyout of Chime Communications, is spreading its wings with the launch of a New York outpost.
The move comes via Muhtayzik Hoffer, the San Francisco agency it bought in May this year. Highly regarded Muhtayzik Hoffer has hired former Saatchi and Saatchi CCO Jay Benjamin and former Gotham president Nick Johnson to lead the new agency.
Muhtayzik Hoffer (below) hardly trips off the tongue but the agency had knocked back a number of approaches from holding companies prior to the deal with VCCP/Chime. Providence Equity is the senior partner in Chime but WPP appears to be backing the agency as one of its own; including it in the recent closed pitch for Marks & Spencer.
British agencies have a terrible record in New York, often seemingly transfixed by the scale of the US competition. 400 or so people in New York is quite a small agency unlike London. Partnering with an established US entity, albeit one that’s made its reputation on the West Coast, may prove a better option than starting from scratch as VCCP sets about building what it calls a “challenger network.”