BOSTON Braving the brutal economy, veteran creative executive David Baldwin has launched his own shop, Baldwin&, a six-person operation in Durham, N.C.
The new agency has a single project-based client, telecommunications giant Nortel, which is navigating the federal bankruptcy process.
"We're looking for provocative ways to redefine their enterprise and to place them back into the networking/communications marketplace," Baldwin said. "Specifics are still under wraps.
Baldwin, a former partner and ecd at Durham-based McKinney, also serves as president of The One Club. At the startup, his principal partner is Bob Ranew, formerly a McKinney gcd.
In terms of creative philosophy, the new firm will attempt to fashion advertising that "takes a stand," keeping in mind that "there are no consumers, only human beings. Don't talk down to them," Baldwin said.
Baldwin& will operate as a purely creative endeavor. "Our six-month goal is to continue and build, project business," its founder and namesake said. "The one-year goal is to develop a retainer client base. The five-year goal is to develop our own brands to the point where we become 50 percent our own client."
A copywriter by trade, he is best known for his 10-year stretch at McKinney when the agency was a unit of global holding company Havas. He left the shop in December 2007, replaced by Jonathan Cude.
Under Baldwin, McKinney's creative output progressed from traditional print-based efforts to more integrated platforms for clients like Audi, Polaris and Sony Bravia. Audi's "Art of the Heist" multimedia campaign was probably his most memorable work. Launched as digital gaming was just getting hot, the work focused on tracking down who had stolen an Audi A3.
Before joining McKinney -- which last year bought itself back from Havas – he was creative head and partner at independent Leonard/Monahan in Providence, R.I.