The Martin Agency Is Closing Its New York Office After More Than a Decade

Geico shop's Manhattan branch started as a satellite

IPG acquired the Geico agency in 1994. Martin Agency
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The Martin Agency will soon become the latest ad agency to close its New York office.

“Yesterday we announced to employees that, as part of a strategic decision to focus on growth in Richmond and London, we are reducing our presence in NYC,” a spokesperson told Adweek today.

The Manhattan operation, which began as a satellite office, has been open for more than a decade. This summer, the team in New York will move into a shared space owned by parent company IPG, which acquired The Martin Agency in 1994. It is not yet clear how many employees will be affected by the move.

The agency’s spokesperson pointed to a pending change in the agency’s relationship with an unspecified client as part of the reason for the closing. Since winning Kayak’s creative review in early 2016, the New York office’s primary accounts have been the travel aggregator and Italian pasta and sauce company Giovanni Rana. (The team working on Martin’s best-known client, Geico, is based in its Richmond, Va., headquarters.)

Representatives for Kayak and Giovanni Rana have not yet responded to related queries, but Kayak was The Martin Agency’s largest New York client by far. According to estimates from Kantar Media, Kayak spends approximately $140 million on measured media annually.

Over the past two years, The Martin Agency made several moves to strengthen its Manhattan team, hiring its first executive creative director, managing director and lead strategist while significantly expanding its creative department.

The past eight-plus months, however, have included a series of setbacks beginning with longtime client Walmart’s decision to consolidate its ad business with Publicis Groupe in August 2016. The following month, The Martin Agency went through a staffing reduction that affected nearly 6 percent of its workforce in Richmond and New York. Last month, another round of downsizing led to the dismissal of roughly 4 percent of its Richmond and New York employees.

At the time, CEO Matt Williams attributed the changes to “restructuring” that would “allow us to execute great ideas faster, respond to opportunities more quickly and better connect with consumers.”

Other major agencies that closed New York City-based satellite offices in recent years include Leo Burnett and Goodby, Silverstein & Partners.

@PatrickCoffee Patrick Coffee is a senior editor for Adweek.