Grey Opens a Seattle Outpost

Hoping the weak Canadian dollar will lure Pacific Northwest clients to its Vancouver office, Grey Worldwide Northwest opened a satellite office in Seattle last week.

The branch is led by account manager Jason Rolstone, 29, who held the same title at Grey Worldwide Northwest’s Vancouver head quarters. The new office is located with Grey Global Group’s public-affairs arm, APCO, in the Seattle World Trade Center.

Rolstone said an exchange rate that values the U.S. dollar at more than $1.40 Canadian can lead to cost savings for U.S.-based clients.

“We’re offering big-agency services to the Seattle area at a better cost,” he said. “It’s an opportunity for medium-sized companies that, in the past, couldn’t use a full-service shop.”

The Seattle office will be limited to account management, Rolstone said, with creative, production and interactive services coming from Vancouver.

Although Rolstone is currently the only full-time employee in the new office, the shop plans to add account staff as clients come on board.

As it stands, Grey Seattle is partnering with APCO to service clients such as Dow Corning, Washington Education Association and the HIV Vaccine Trials Network.

Grey will continue to handle regional Starbucks business from its Vancouver office, although Rolstone said he believes the shop’s local presence will strengthen Grey’s relationship with the Seattle client.

The shop aims to provide half of Grey Northwest’s billings within the next two years, Rolstone said.

“We’re making a bigger push, and will continue prospecting,” he said.