IPG’s ‘Frontier’ Opens After Win

Church & Dwight didn’t just award its media buying business last week; it gave birth to a new agency—so new, in fact, that it doesn’t even have a name yet.

Temporarily named Frontier Communications, it is the brainchild of Interpublic media executives who were looking to create a catchall for brands that are unhappy at other agencies or that pose a conflict at other IPG shops. It was just an idea before it won the $80 million account. The pitch was a test-run for the concept, but with a win, it became a reality—and already has more business.

Avrett Free Ginsberg is the first shop to shift media responsibilities to Frontier; and it plans to shift all of its accounts.

What will appear on the door, however, is still in flux. The name Frontier is “untrademarkable,” said Avrett CMO Jamie Korsen, who will serve as the new entity’s president.

A team of founding executives, including Korsen and chairman Mark Stewart, also chief strategic officer at Universal McCann, pitched the personal-care client after UM—Johnson & Johnson’s media shop—turned down the opportunity. They competed against WPP Group’s Maxus and independent incumbent R.J. Palmer, both in New York.

The agency will target “clients under $100 million,” Korsen said. That diverse, competitive pool includes other holding-company units such as Publicis Groupe’s Starlink, $1 billion-plus independent Horizon Media and smaller specialist shops like TargetCast TCM.

The shop and its inaugural 20-person staff will move into 10,000 square feet of IPG office space on the 36th floor at 1 Dag Hammarskjöld Plaza in a month.