Harbour is a new London-based collective of independent agencies formed by Paul Hammersley (left), a former senior executive at DDB and Lowe and a founder of The Red Brick Road. Members include Dare, George & Dragon, Goodstuff, Digital Natives and on-site agency network Oliver.
1/ What is Harbour?
We are a collective of independent, specialist and discrete agencies who work together to increase top and bottom line growth.
2/ What benefits does it offer to (a) member agencies and (b) clients?
For agencies, we help broaden their capabilities, develop new revenue opportunities and identify shared operational efficiencies. For clients, we offer a unique combination of specialist skills, independent agency spirit and integrated thinking and work.
3/ Why is now a good time to launch an agency collective?
Because clients and staff (and even shareholders) are beginning to question the excessive corporatisation of our business, the value of scale and increasingly the holding company model itself. They are looking for more flexible, collaborative and efficient services and experiences.
4/ Are clients moving away from conventional agency network solutions?
Yes. All sorts of clients, including some of the world’s largest marketers, are meeting and working with a variety of new solutions including collectives, in-housing offers and distributed talent platforms. There are many ways to aggregate talent around a task or brief which don’t require expensive standing armies of staff with their associated overheads.
5/you now have a pretty full list of member agencies. How will Harbour develop in the future? One of each or more of each?
Our model is to have discrete members – ie one member in each area of capability. The ideal number is necessarily limited to enable effective relationship building; certainly no more than 15. That said, we have had so many agency approaches that we are considering creating an extended agency network.