Former JWT bosses Montague and Ryan promise to “upend the old advertising model” with Co: launch

New agencies traditionally promise to do things better and differently and new agency Co:, formed by former JWT New York bosses Ty Montague and Rosemarie Ryan is doing just that.

Actually they say it’s not an agency at all but a “brand innovation studio.” The name Co: (with the colon) has been chosen to illustrate their belief in co-creation, collaboration and co-venturing and they plan to work with “a collective of co-conspirators” including individual talent and companies like Victor & Spoils (which has a similar business model), Naked Communications and Red Bricks Media.

Montague and Ryan have been joined by chief strategy officer Neil Parker (IBM and Wolff Olins), chief technology officer Richard Schatzberger (BBH) with a chief commercial officer (don’t you hate these officers?) whose job it is to ensure Co: makes money to be announced later.

The dynamic duo say their inspiration comes from the “evolving” entertainment industry where “the right talent is brought together at the right time to get the right outcome.” So they’re obviously thinking in terms of film studios rather than a few creatives in a garret.

This isn’t actually so new in advertising and marketing, many companies have tried it with varying degrees of success. some by exploiting the old agency tradition of ‘moonlighting.’

The trouble is persuading clients that you can guarantee these talented bums on seats when they need them.

But Montague and Ryan claim they will work with up to 1500 people which equates to a pretty big agency, sorry brand innovation studio.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.