Who Founder, chief creative officer Chuck McBride (l.); president Christian Hughes
What Advertising and digital communications agency
Where San Francisco offices
When Chuck McBride named his agency Cutwater, it was both a reminder of youthful summers on Lake Huron where he cared for his grandfather’s wooden boats and an operating philosophy for the next phase of his career. Like the metal cutwater that fits over a boat’s bow and splits water as it goes forward, McBride’s agency aims to slice through the clutter marketers face in a complex media world. Its clients include designer Trina Turk, Giro and Easton Sports. In 2007, McBride set off on his own with Cutwater, then backed by Omnicom, after becoming known for his work at TBWAChiatDay, Wieden + Kennedy and Goodby, Silverstein & Partners.