Sometimes an individual can make a huge difference to an agency, lifting it to undreamed of heights.
When Peter Mead and Adrian Vickers (both suits) set up their agency, in the late 1970s I think, nobody expected it to take the ad world by storm. Then creative David Abbott joined and it did, rapidly becoming the biggest UK agency, joining the stock market and, eventually, becoming one of BBDO’s flagship agencies.
Karmarama, which has just sold to Accenture, hired former Droga5 creative Supremo Nik Studzinski (below) a couple of years ago and rapidly moved from wannabe (although quite a big wannabe) to become, eventually, the creative jewel in the crown of the world’s biggest digital agency network. Or is it?
It might be and Accenture is making all the right noises. Studzinski is going to be CCO of Accenture interactive in Europe with roles for the other top Karmarama crew Jon Wilkins, Ben Bilboul and Sid McGrath. There was no obvious contender for the CCO position in the pre-Studzinski Karmarama.
So a lot’s riding on him as Accenture moves into traditional advertising (that’s what it’s doing despite the constant re-iteration of digital this and that). But does Karmarama have the firepower to really take on the likes of WPP and Omnicom in what we might call the full service creative stakes? If you look at Studzinski’s old employer in the US, Droga5, you might say it has – D5 is an agency to conjure with in New York. But D5 failed in Australia and the jury’s still out in the UK (where Studzinski worked for a while).
On the plus side Accenture the management consultancy is vast, working for most big companies in most places on something or other. On the minus side it lacks a media business (it’s a big auditor but that’s no help).
For now though Karmarama signing Studzinski looks like the hire of the decade.