Technicolor challenges the new generation of ad agencies with direct-to-client Watkins hire

Technicolor Creative Studios, owner of MPC and The Mill among others, is significantly upping its challenge to agencies with the hire of Anna Watkins as global vice-president of growth and brand partnerships.

Watkins (below) has worked across the ad spectrum at Verizon Media, the Guardian, MoFilm and M&C Saatchi.

TCS is helmed by David Patton, former Grey EMEA boss and, briefly, president ofY&R globally until (to his surprise) the bigger Y&R was merged by WPP into VML.

Patton says: “Anna will support the growth of MPC and The Mill’s direct-to-brand offering, in addition to identifying new growth opportunities across the Technicolor Creative Studios, brand experience and advertising division.

“This is a pivotal hire as we look to focus on how we can faster evolve our offering to accommodate the massive growing demand for our services.

“Our goal is to be the top provider of creative production to brands globally as they look to lean on new forms of creative technology to connect with their customer base in new and innovative ways.”

TCS has thrived in lockdown as advertisers have turned to CGI and animation. In the past there has always been a gentleman’s agreement that big production companies leave direct dealing with advertisers to agencies, even when they do most of the work.

Ironically agencies themselves have maybe widened the opening for Technicolor Creative Studios with Nils Leonard’s Uncommon Creative Studio and David Abraham’s Wonderhood Studios. Studios don’t come much bigger than MPC and The Mill.

This is an updated version of an earlier story.

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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.