Vice Media Group has bought creative consultancy PLTFRMR to merge it with its creative agency Virtue. In doing so it adds two heavy hitters: Chris Garbutt, a former global CCO of TBWA Worldwide and Colin Mitchell, former SVP global marketing at McDonald’s.
Garbutt will become Co-President, Virtue and CCO Vice Media Group, while Mitchell will be co-president Virtue and chief innovation officer Vice Media Group.
Rob Newlan will be global chief operating officer and Head of Europe & AMEA Virtue. In their new roles, Garbutt and Mitchell will work with Nadja Bellan-White Global CMO Vice Media Group, Newlan and Krystle Watler, MD Virtue Americas. Virtue now operates in 21 countries.
CMO Bellan-White (below with Garbutt (left) and Mitchell) says: “Our relationship with PLTFRMR, Chris and Colin has grown extensively over the past few months. We initially brought them on as consultants on our new brand strategy, and found it to be a remarkable fit.
“Their value proposition, experience, history of creativity and innovation along with their ‘Talent Cloud’ model will have a tremendous impact on the global community of makers, creators and collaborators across our platform.”
Garbutt says: “Over the last several years, VMG has transformed to become a truly integrated media company spanning all forms of publishing and production. It has incredible assets such as Pulse Films, Refinery 29 and i-D Magazine. Finding ways to put this together for brands is very appealing, while we continue to rethink, reshape and reimagine the agency model.”
Mitchell says: “Increasingly, CMOs are going directly to production and publishing companies. Virtue gives brands a portal to connect with emerging culture and configure it in a way that makes sense for them. It’s already an incredibly unique model, and now we will continue to explore new ways to leverage the VMG network of Pulse Films, Vice Studios, and our experiential teams to reinvent the modern agency model.”