The Martin Agency Solidifies New York Presence by Hiring Its First Managing Director

Former Collins president Amber Guild to lead IPG shop

IPG's The Martin Agency named Amber Guild, agency veteran and former president of brand consultancy Collins, as the first managing director of its New York City office. She began the new job last week and reports directly to Martin CEO Matt Williams.

This move marks a key stage in the maturation of Martin's New York unit, which is more than a decade old but has so far operated as a satellite operation. The agency's largest accounts, including Geico, are based in its Richmond, Va., headquarters. The New York office's clients currently include Kayak, Optimum and Sunglass Hut.

"Martin New York has grown dramatically in the past couple of years, but we've been eager to find just the right person to help lead that office to an even higher level, and Amber is that person," said Williams in a statement. "She will bring her extensive expertise and be a great partner to executive creative director James Robinson and director of brand strategy John Gibson as they grow and shape Martin New York." 

"I've had a crush on Martin since my early days as an account executive," Guild told Adweek in explaining her decision to move from a consultancy back to a creative agency. Earlier in her career, she held accounts and management roles at several major shops including Ogilvy & Mather, Saatchi & Saatchi and Y&R before moving into leadership positions at T3 New York and Collins. She also appeared on AdAge's 2016 "Women to Watch" list.

"When I was growing up in account management, my job was to become a trusted adviser to our clients by understanding their business, building and creating affinity for their brand, and creating an environment for my team that inspired great, effective work," she said. "If anything, as I've become more senior, I put even more attention to building environments and cultures that allow for people from different backgrounds (diversity!) to thrive—it's not just the right thing to do, it's business critical."

Regarding the New York office's evolution, Guild told Adweek: "It's important to point out that Martin New York has already been here for several years and has steadily grown since it first opened its doors. We live in one of the most diverse cities in the world—a city I was born and raised in—and our opportunity is to make sure our talent and our work reflect the creativity, diversity and complexity of the world we live in."

The Martin Agency, which celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2015, also opened a London office in 2014 and added several key members to its New York team over the past two years, chief among them ecd Robinson and lead strategist Gibson.

Robinson called Guild "that one-in-a-million leader" in a statement, adding, "in our first conversation she had completely reshaped not only how we are currently looking at Martin New York, but created a new vision for what we can become. We are lucky to have her." The new leader said that her first job as managing director is "[to] figure out how to build on what James Robinson, John Gibson and the team at Martin have already started." 

In January, The Martin Agency hired several new creatives in New York before announcing that it had won a creative agency of record review for Kayak, the travel-booking site.