Female-Driven Hybrid Consultancy/Agency Verb to Handle Nielsen Work at Cannes

Shannon Simpson Jones and Yadira Harrison come from Civic Entertainment Group

L to R: Yadira Harrison, Shannon Simpson Jones, founders of new consultancy/agency hybrid, Verb. Verb

The convergence between agencies and consultancies continues with a new hybrid shop. Industry veterans Yadira Harrison and Shannon Simpson Jones, who previously worked on the Airbnb account at Civic Entertainment Group, have launched agency/consultancy Verb.

The group will focus on integrated and experiential campaigns, brand partnerships and proprietary platforms for clients, including Amazon Web Services, Lyft, CRWN Magazine and Nielsen. Its first work for Nielsen will launch at Cannes.

Harrison and Jones met at Civic Entertainment Group four years ago and have both agency and brand-side experience, allowing them to offer a distinct perspective as a brand partner. In addition to Airbnb, they have worked with clients including Macy’s, Pennzoil and WeWork.

“For us, it wasn’t about leaving one agency to create another,” Jones said in a statement. “It was about offering brands a new type of partner. We use our industry knowledge and client-service talents to build extensions of a brand’s in-house team, applying our expertise in proprietary platforms, partnerships and integrated campaigns to help brands excel to new heights.”

“We know the pain points facing brands and agencies today because we’ve been on both sides,” Harrison added. “We now know the right questions to ask and the best way to manage organizational politics. Verb will take action to create a more trusting and transparent relationship between agency and client.”

Verb will be leading programming and events for Nielsen at the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity next month.

Theirs is not the only company to combine the agency and consultancy models in recent months. Los Angeles’ Wolfgang, for example, has seen considerable success in billing itself as the same sort of hybrid, winning AOR status for Panda Express and Halo Top as well as a rebranding assignment for TRUECar.

@ErikDOster erik.oster@adweek.com Erik Oster is an agencies reporter for Adweek.