Wieden + Kennedy in London is the latest agency to wander off into the product world. Its take is jewelry inspired by sexy graphs. The idea for the PLOT jewelry line came from planner Lisa Prince, who saw a certain beauty in a jagged line from a PowerPoint presentation. She teamed with art director Nicholla Longley and jewelry maker Hannah Havana to make a product line melding data with design. First up are a bunch of necklaces with artsy representations of commodity prices over the years. Wieden managing director Neil Christie says it's all about getting away from that pesky business of making ads. "We're always looking for the opportunity to work in new ways that are beyond traditional advertising channels," he writes on the shop's blog. The jury's still out on whether these agency forays into product making are more than a diversion to keep the staff happy and maybe squeeze out a Fast Company profile suggesting they're "reinventing the ad agency model." One agency guy gave me a simple explanation for the spate of agency product projects: "That's because the ad-agency biz blows."
—Posted by Brian Morrissey