Mark Opens Own Creative Shop

Michael Mark, a veteran adman who left his partnership post at Matthews/Mark earlier this year, said he has cut the ribbon on an agency that will stride out of the gate with seven clients, including two from his former shop.

“Terrorism, recession, lack of values in the leading corporations, 20,000 ad executives out of work. … It’s the perfect time for an agency of innocence,” said the 44-year-old creative director in announcing the formation of NYCA. Mark said he chose the name in the hope of establishing the shop as a national entity capable of handling clients in any location, from New York to California.

The shop, based just north of San Diego, will begin with a 16-person staff. Mark said the client roster includes two accounts that had been handled by Matthews/Mark: the San Diego Union-Tribune and Southern California housing community Eastlake Development.

Mark said both clients contacted him after he parted ways with former partner Jim Matthews. “They saw the value, and they approached me,” said Mark.

NYCA will also work with the Adidas division Taylormade Golf, Rossa Putters, HNC Software and SignOnSanDiego. com, which publishes an online guide for the city. Mark also noted that he has been hired by a “major Hollywood studio” for project work, but said he is prohibited from revealing the client’s identity because it has an established relationship with another agency.

The shop will work only on creative; media will be handled through an alliance with the Los Angeles office of Media edge:cia, Mark said.

Mark said a number of agencies were interested in hiring him after he left Matthews/Mark, but said he was eager to run his own shop. “I wanted my name on the door,” he said. “I have been very nervous about this, but it is something I really wanted to do.”

While acknowledging that the split with Matthews was a mutual decision that arose from differing philosophies, Mark praised his former shop. “They are really a bunch of terrific people, and I wish them well,” he said.