Big Agency Politics Sends Bozell Creative Executive to Conn. Shop
BOSTON–What began 14 years ago as a tiny design and marketing firm has blossomed into a 30-person advertising agency with a new creative director from Bozell Worldwide.
Attracted to The Atlantic Group’s funky and relaxed work environment, Greg Voornas joined the Norwalk, Conn., shop after meeting its president and chief executive officer, Stephanie Primm, while shooting pool at a nearby bar.
“I liked [The Atlantic Group’s] culture and was tired of big agency politics,” said Voornas, whose 20 years in the industry includes stints at Wells Rich Greene and Foote, Cone & Belding. He most recently served as associate creative director in Bozell’s Los Angeles office.
Voornas’ book includes work for clients such as Honda, IBM, Godiva, Philip Morris and Friskies.
Primm “has an uncanny ability to handpick people from different disciplines, put them together and make it work,” Voornas said. “There’s a wonderful respect and freedom here.”
By cultivating a fun and flexible office environment–complete with bar, pool table and mascots (Primm’s two dogs)–The Atlantic Group has been able to lure top-notch employees and clients with cachet.
In addition to Voornas, Primm has hired account supervisor Christopher Swee from Bates USA in New York and director of client services Tony Coulson from Alliance Marketing in Fairfield, Conn., where he worked on branding campaigns for McGraw-Hill, AT&T and NationsBank.
Recent account wins include Arch Chemicals, a division of Olin Corp. in Norwalk; Bank of America divisions NationCredit Commercial Corp. in Wilton, Conn., and Greyrock Capital in Los Angeles; and XandO in Stamford, Conn., a coffee shop by day and a neighborhood bar by night.
Perkin-Elmer’s Worldwide Analytical Instrumentation Division in Norwalk, a longtime business-to-business client, also upped its relationship to agency of record status.
Most of The Atlantic Group’s revenues to date have derived from clients that have been with the shop for more than 10 years, such as the Perrier Group of America in Greenwich, Conn., and Stamford Health System in Stamford.
Primm declined to disclose billings or revenue, preferring instead to emphasize the shop’s work environment. “The culture and quality of people are very important as to why this has been successful,” said Primm, who founded the agency in 1985 after earning her MBA and working as an intern at Mason & Madison in New Haven, Conn. “I would never risk the culture for some obscure revenue goal.”
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