Can superstar founder Alex Bogusky ride to the rescue of CP+B and owner MDC?

MDC Partners’ one-time flagship agency was Crispin Porter+Bogusky, when co-founder and creative leader Alex Bogusky was carrying all before him. Bogusky left eight years ago to spend his time on a number of ventures but now he’s returning to his alma mater.

As a consequence former McCann CCO Linus Karlsson, appointed CP+B CCO just nine months ago, is leaving.

Bogusky’s new moniker is chief creative engineer (Bogusky is Bogusky). He says: “This is a decisive moment for the future of the advertising industry. The needs of brands have changed, and it’s high time to re-examine the best creative approach to meet those needs…I think advertising agencies can benefit from the lean and agile practices that have revolutionized so many other industries.” Bogusky has spent much of his time away on tech start-ups.

Co-founder Chuck Porter says Bogusky is “the most original and innovative thinker I know. The last time Alex was here, we reinvented what it meant to be an ad agency, and I don’t think there’s ever been a time when the industry needs that more than right now.”

Karlsson, typically generous, says: “In my short time at CP+B I’m pleased to have been able to contribute to its recent creative resurgence. I’m happy to see Alex return. It’s hard to question the thinking when it’s him. I wish Alex and all the good people at CP&B much success.”

CP+B could do with some Bogusky magic as could MDC which reports its Q2 numbers later today. Bogusky produced some outstanding work – the most famous being Burger King’s ‘Subservient Chicken’ – and some that said “look at me.”

But creative agencies could do with a showman or three and Bogusky remains one of the biggest names in the business.


MDC admitted to a “poor” first half performance today with revenue for the second quarter down 2.8 per cent to $379m year on year and organic revenue dropping 1.7 per cent.

CEO Scott Kauffman blamed headwinds caused by “prolonged new business sales cycle and continued client cutbacks.”

Merging or selling off some of its numerous agencies looks like the only way to bring costs in line with revenue but MDC’s scope for such surgery is limited as it owns different-sized stakes in different agencies.


  1. Alex was not a founder of CP+B. I hope Linus trousered a shitload of money for getting fucked after a mere nine months. And didn’t Alex say he was done with the ad biz eight years ago? Maybe he ran through his $30 million golden parachute on his various less than successful non-ad ventures.

  2. Based on latest MDC financials my bet is that Mr Bogusky is back at the forge in order to collect whatever remaining monies are still owed him from his earn-out. This company has NEVER been profitable, and now top line revenue is declining. Add to that the $800 million in long-term debt, and I hear the sound of “Going Out of Business” signs being printed. Of course I could be completely wrong. Wonder what became of Miles’s bespoke MacLaren? Those were good times:

Back to top button