Donofrio Partners With Carton in Reorganization

The principals at Richardson, Myers & Donofrio have restructured their agency.

The 36-year-old Baltimore agency has dropped the Richardson and Myers names, promoting interactive division head Sean Carton to executive vice president.

A five-member management team will operate in “clusters,” doing business under the banner Carton Donofrio Partners.

Other members of the executive team are Jamie Rice, chief operating officer; Ken Majka, chief creative officer; and Robbie Blinkoff, Ph.D., chief anthropology officer.

The shift refocuses the shop’s priorities, raising its research unit to the same level as the ad, interactive and public relations functions.

“We’ve transformed from an interactive and marketing agency to a brand experience design company with ethnography as a core element of the process,” said Rice.

Donofrio said the restructuring is a response to a shift in power toward the consumer or, in business-to-business accounts, end user.

“For a while manufacturers called the shots, then retailers,” he said. “Now that it’s so easy to filter advertising messages, we need to understand exactly how the consumer feels when he’s searching the Web or buying a house.”

Speaking of the shop’s research group, Rice said: “Our ethnographers disappear into the community. Over time they learn the reality of the culture. We apply that model to our customers.”

Donofrio used CDP’s recent win of Cordiem, a Washington, D.C.-based developer of supply chain applications for the airline industry, as an example.

“Cordiem helps people in aerospace buy and sell parts,” he said. “We talked about their customers and not how the ads were going to look. They hired us because they could see how we would act in their world.”