One of the spectator sports of the pandemic (for those of a chilly disposition anyway) was seeing who survived and who didn’t.
Paul Hammersley’s Harbour was launched in 2017 as an “independent communications agency” collective in which clients “only paid for what they eat,” ie no AOR fees and the like. Made prefect logical sense in a rapidly changing agency landscape but, like anything relatively untried, harder to pull off in practice.
But Hammersley is a seasoned suit – at The Red Brick Road, Lowe, Cheil and DDB among others – and Harbour is still with us, now the spider at the centre of a web of 18 “independent” agencies, a few of which are owned by other groups. Senior Ogilvy execs Mick Mahoney and Kevin Chesters joined pre-pandemic as Ogilvy went through a rather pointless period of re-imagining itself.
Now Harbour has signed Katie Bayley (left) from Cheil as head of project management & production, which suggests, if nothing else, that there’s a fair amount of work going through.
Bayley says: “I love what the team here are trying to do, and I love their commitment to developing new and better ways to deliver excellence to clients whilst not compromising on how they treat people whilst doing so.
“My job is to ensure that the quality of output remains world class and I’m looking forward to making that happen for clients both here, and with our Collective partners.”
Creative partner Mahoney says: “As Harbour grows, our output is rapidly expanding in many different directions. Katie will make sure that everything happens beautifully and on time. She is ultra-calm, and incredibly good at finding solutions for even the most challenging productions.
“The quality of our creative product, regardless of the form it takes, is the single most important thing to me, so having someone of Katie’s calibre to rely on is invaluable.”