DDB Takes Stake in New Venture

DDB Worldwide has taken a minority stake in Fathom, a brand consultancy launched by two former staffers.

Peter Groome and Tres McCullough, account supervisor and account executive, respectively, on DDB New York’s $100 million ExxonMobil account, opened Fathom two weeks ago with the oil company as its first client.

“Both of us are excited by problem-solving through nontraditional advertising,” Groome said. “We saw this as a need in the marketplace.” Groome, 32, and McCullough, 30, worked at DDB for about two years.

“We felt we could only scratch the surface in serving ExxonMobil through traditional ads,” McCullough added.

Fathom will offer direct marketing, interactive, events and promotions, among other services. DDB continues as lead agency for ExxonMobil.

When the two men went to DDB Worldwide CEO Ken Kaess to resign, he countered with an offer to partially fund the venture.

“They’re that great combination of smart and entrepreneurial,” Kaess said. “I wanted to keep them in the family.” He added that Fathom is one of many brand consultancies worldwide in which DDB has stakes.