The revolving doors of Goodby Silverstein & Partners’ New York office have swung open once again.
Five years ago, the San Francisco-based Omnicom agency closed GS&P New York after less than three years in business in the wake of Comcast’s failed merger with Time Warner. During its initial run, the New York office independently won new business with the New York Post, Zillow-owned StreetEasy and ZocDoc. At its peak, the office employed nearly 20, but was down to eight employees when it closed.
While a number of GS&P employees have been working out of various locations in New York over the past couple of years, the agency has now made its return to Manhattan official by opening up a new office at 200 Varick Street.
The office’s leadership team includes executive creative directors Danny Gonzalez and David Suarez, who have partnered with clients Liberty Mutual and Pepsi across coasts, as well as on new business efforts; group brand strategy director Katie Coane, who returned to the agency after a stint at Droga5 and works across Comcast and Liberty Mutual; account and operations director Katie Lancaster, who also rejoins the agency from Droga5 and Cam Miller, who returned to the agency after a stint at Grey New York as creative director for Liberty Mutual. Suarez will physically join the New York team in the spring.
We caught up with GS&P via email for a few questions regarding the decision to return to New York and open up an office during a pandemic.
The following interview has been edited for brevity and clarity.
Adweek: Which clients is the New York office servicing?
GS&P executive creative director Danny Gonzalez: We’re currently working with Pepsi and Liberty Mutual Insurance. We just won three new pieces of business that we’ll be announcing really soon. GS&P NYC also created last year’s holiday shoppable windows for PayPal, which won a Gold One Show Pencil.
GS&P managing partner Brian McPherson: Since the start, we’ve embraced a bicoastal model. So every client we work with that has an east coast presence has team members from both offices. We think it’s a good way to stay connected culturally and practically to things in SF.
How did client relationships impact the decision? To what extent did new business wins influence the decision?
McPherson: We had a collection of leaders and staffers who wanted to move to New York, yet didn’t want to leave GS&P. In a sense, we opened this office not because we had clients asking for it, but because we had our people asking for it.
Having an office in New York makes a lot of sense for a number of reasons, but the office’s opening was driven more by current and former employees who found themselves in New York for different reasons, but still really wanted to be a part of GS&P.
How much of a factor did access to talent play in driving the decision?
GS&P partner, CCO Margaret Johnson: New York City has always been a center of fashion, music, art and culture. This opens up a new pool of diverse and talented people for GS&P.
Why did GS&P decide to open this new office now?
Gonzalez: We’ve been slowly growing our presence in New York City for a few years. And now on the heels of new business wins and some work we’re really proud of on Liberty Mutual and Pepsi, it felt like the right time to finally make it public.