Deutsch veterans Mike Duda and Brent Vartan launched new creative agency Bullish Inc. in the Dumbo headquarters of Work & Co, the two-year old agency founded by Huge’s founding partners. Work & Co. CEO Gene Liebel is also a Bullish investor and his agency will act as a partner, along with production company The Bindery.
The creative agency will focus on on brand strategy and creative execution, operating on a pay-for-performance compensation model. Bullish Inc.’s current clients at the time of launch include GNC and NBTY brand Balance Bar. It also includes a separate investment arm, the evolution of marketing consultancy Consigliere Brand Capital, which Duda launched in 2010. Its early investments include Birchbox, Warby Parker and Harry’s.
“In 2010, I launched Consigliere, and knew that aligning the powers of brand and marketing in a similar way to how the financial firms were seemed to make sense,” Duda told AdAge. “What I didn’t fully appreciate, and should have done in 2010, was be a creative agency. Ultimately, it’s what the consumer sees that matters and changes actions. We’ll now act more like a creative agency with aligned economic interests.”
Duda arrived at Deutsch back in 1997, working his way up to partner, chief corporate strategy before leaving to found Consigliere Brand Capital in 2010. Before founding Bullish her served as CEO of Johannes Leonardo for around a year and a half.
Vartan joined Deutsch as a vice president, brand director in 2008, following a two year stint as an associate planning director with BBDO New York. He worked his way up to executive vice president, head of planning before leaving for Consigliere Brand Capital, then returned as a partner, chief strategy officer in May of 2012.