Crispin Lands in Europe With an Eye on Digital

NEW YORK When Crispin Porter + Bogusky opened an office three years ago in Boulder, Colo., the move left many in the ad industry scratching their heads. Last week, the hot shop chose an unexpected location for its first European full-service office: Gothenburg, Sweden.

But this time, the reason for the choice of venue was clear: Crispin’s acquisition of digital shop Daddy, which the agency says it needs to further grow its global business.

“Our clients and prospective clients more and more are having the need for some help over there,” said Alex Bogusky, co-chairman of Crispin. “This is a faster way to help [than to build up an agency from the ground up].” The MDC Partners agency continues to grow with global clients such as Burger King and Microsoft, but its presence in Europe had been limited to its service offices in London, Spain and Germany.
 
“We’re also going to benefit from the Swedish [expertise] in design and certainly in digital,” Bogusky added. “Sweden is a hot bed of digital creative. The best schools are there. Beyond Daddy there is a ton of talent. It has emerged as the digital leader in Europe.”

The relationship between Daddy and Crispin stretches back three years, with the two having worked together on several interactive executions. These include the Burger King “Angry-Gram” for the Angry Whopper, Volkswagen’s “Carbon Neutral” site and Guitar Hero Metallica banners.

Currently, they’re collaborating on the redesign of the Burger King Web site, which will debut next month.
 
“We’ve had great cultural synergy,” said Winston Binch, vp, managing director of interactive at Crispin. “Like us, [Daddy] thinks of digital as a product, not just marketing collateral.”
 
Binch said that 60 percent of Crispin’s digital production is now done in-house. With the addition of the 50 Daddy employees, the dedicated digital staff at CP+B now numbers 250, said Binch. The Gothenburg shop has been renamed CP+B/GBG.

“CP+B is bringing us an opportunity to grow bigger and we can learn from the best,” said Gustav Martner, ecd and founding partner of Daddy. He noted that 90 percent of its revenue comes from its own client base and 10 percent from production services for outside agencies.
 
Daddy’s client list includes Autodesk, Capio, Ciba Vision, Heinz, Philips, Posten, Scandinavian Airlines, Scania and TeliaSonera.

In time, said Bogusky, the 10 or so creatives in Boulder and Miami who work on the agency’s European assignments — which include Microsoft in the U.K., and Burger King in the U.K., Spain and Germany — will migrate to Gothenburg.

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