London’s Naked to Open in New York

NEW YORK While still shopping for real estate and staff, Naked is poised to open here in January with co-founding partners Paul Woolmington and M.T. Carney at the helm.

Woolmington has been chairman and CEO of Kirshenbaum Bond + Partner’s Media Kitchen since 2001, and helped the New York agency rebrand its media department as a high-profile unit. His last day at the MDC Partners shop is Dec. 22. Carney is senior partner of worldwide planning at Ogilvy & Mather.

“I’ll be handling more of the business side, but clearly bringing some strategy to bear, while M.T. will be sharing the management responsibilities, but with a sharper focus on strategy,” Woolmington said.

This will be the second time the two executives have worked together, following a stint during which they were at Ammirati Puris Lintas when Woolmington was posted in New York and Carney in London.

Woolmington would not confirm any clients, but said Naked staffers from the agency’s various outposts had been working on briefs during trips to the U.S.

“Naked has a strong reputation for working with multinationals like Nokia, Coca-Cola and a lot of interesting blue-chip clients in Europe and Australia. The hope is that we’ll be able to extend those relationships,” Woolmington said.

The shop will continue to employ Naked personnel from overseas offices that include Paris, Oslo, Norway, Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and its London home base. But the agency is also looking to hire creatives and planners that are willing to abandon the traditional siloed approach to advertising, Woolmington said.

“Brilliant misfits is, I think, a good way to put it,” Woolmington said.

Jon Bond confirmed that Woolmington would be replaced at Media Kitchen, but would not comment on who will take that helm.

“The agency was known for creative media before Paul came and it will be known for creative media after he leaves,” Bond said.