U.S. digital agency 360i is continuing its international push, leveraging parent network Dentsu to launch its second outpost abroad.
After testing in Canada in recent months, the agency today formally opened for business in Toronto. There, an initial staff of six will work on existing 360i clients like Scotts Miracle-Gro, while sitting in the larger office of 200-person sister agency DentsuBos. Earlier this year, 360i opened a London office, its first outside the U.S., which is similarly coupled with another Dentsu-owned digital shop, Steak.
360i has about 540 staff in all, spread across five offices. New York is its largest, with about 375, followed by Atlanta, with about 110, and Chicago with 30. While 360i Canada’s launch team is relatively small, 360i CEO and Dentsu North America chairman Bryan Wiener hopes to see it follow a similar trajectory to 360i's London shop, which has grown from five employees to 18 since opening in January.
360i has yet to acquire any new clients for its Canada office, but has already worked on projects in Canada for Scotts, as well as Lexus, a Dentsu and DentsuBos client, and Coca-Cola, a U.S. client of 360i’s since 2008. The agency has worked in the U.S. on digital for Scotts for a little more than a year. Dentsu handles the brand's traditional work.
“We’re only now announcing it when we have the level of confidence that we can really turbocharge the offering,” said Wiener.
360i’s Toronto shop will be led by DentsuBos Toronto president Claude Carrier, who will take on the additional role of president of 360i Canada and continue reporting to Wiener. "He really understands the market. He's spent a lot of time over the last year really absorbing how 360i approaches digital marketing," said Wiener. “[He’ll] really work on solidifying the partnership and go-to-market strategy.”
Devon MacDonald, meanwhile, a vp, client engagement at DentsuBos, will become managing director of 360i Canada, overseeing the agency's day to day and reporting to Carrier. Before joining DentsuBos six months ago, MacDonald was a senior strategist at BBDO Proximity.
Despite shared space, leadership and client work, Wiener said DentsuBos and 360i will still operate as separate offerings, and dismissed the notion that the overlap was part of a tightening relationship between 360i and other agencies owned by holding company Dentsu, which acquired the agency in 2010.
“I think…one of the real differences between Dentsu as a network and [the] Publicis and WPP and IPGs of the world is that [Dentsu] understands that entrepreneurial cultures thrive when given a lot of breathing room," he said. "That’s what we were promised when we were acquired almost three and a half years ago, and it’s exactly what they’ve delivered on… Up to now, our U.S. growth…is very much about just doing what we do and growing organically.”
So why partner abroad? "We have the ability to scale much faster because we have a full office infrastructure as well as other resources we can tap into in partnership with DentsuBos," said Wiener. "In partnership, we're really able to punch above our weight."