2 Leave Think To Open A New Seattle Shop

Two senior executives have left Think New Ideas’ Seattle office to form their own creative boutique.
Alan Brown and Dan Gross, Think’s director of strategic planning and executive creative director, respectively, last week opened a new agency, DNA, in Seattle. They already have several clients, with total billings estimated at over $1 million.
Bill Toliver, general manager of Think in Seattle, said the shop plans to replace the two, and that there are no hard feelings about their departure. “We love Alan and Dan and think they will do a fantastic job,” he said.
Brown and Gross were both senior executives at Herring/Newman, the Seattle shop Think bought in April. They said the acquisition brought key changes in their jobs–including increasingly time-consuming management responsibilities–that convinced them to form their own shop.
“The situation with Think was requiring us to spend more time on corporate issues and less time on marketing and advertising,” said Brown. “I like being close to the work, and so does Dan. We wanted to continue to work together, and to establish [close] relationships with our clients.”
Brown and Gross have taken the creative account of The Seattle Times with them to DNA, and picked up creative duties for American Express Publishing, a client of theirs at Herring/Newman. They are also working with two other undisclosed clients.
Gross said they chose the name DNA for the new shop because the team hopes to “breathe life into growing and evolving brands.”
Toliver will head strategic planning and associate creative directors Leah Idler and Bruce Bulloch will run the creative department during the search for replacements. “We have an opportunity to examine where we are and build the company the way we want,” Toliver said. Replacements may come from within the Think network, he added.
Think acquired Herring/Newman six months ago for $3 million to establish a base in the Pacific Northwest.