NEW YORK Marty Weiss, former creative director at TBWA's Brand Architecture International, opens a new "design-centric" shop on Monday with a Web site and business plan. The startup is seeking its first clients.
Meter Industries will design everything from packaging, logos and collateral to Web sites, retail space and advertising, Weiss said.
And while BAI offers many of the same services, Weiss feels compelled to try it on his own. "I'm very excited. I'm certainly nervous," said Weiss, 51, an art director by trade, who is known for the human cartoons campaign for Nynex Yellow Pages in the late 1980s and early '90s and a series of filmic spots for Guinness in the 1990s. "It's exciting and scary."
For the past 15 years, Weiss has partnered with Adam Stagliano, president of BAI. Their partnership dates back to the merger of Weiss, Whitten and Carroll Raj Stagliano in 1991. In 2001, Weiss Stagliano Partners was acquired by Omnicom's TBWA and renamed BAI.
Last summer, Weiss reached the end of his earn-out from the deal and, in the past two months—buoyed in part by the growth of other recent New York startups—decided to open another agency. "I've done this before. I have this entrepreneurial side to me," Weiss said, adding, "I would prefer not to do it as part of a big company . . . I want to do it my way."
Stagliano, who described the parting as "bittersweet," will hire senior talent to serve key clients such as Pernod Ricard. He has no plans to find another partner and creative chief, though. "I'm very committed and feel very dialed-up playing on an international scale," added Stagliano. "The real potential of BAI as a worldwide company has yet to be realized."
Other BAI clients include Merisand and Waterworks.