MUH-TAY-ZIK|HOF-FER to Open New York Office Run by Nick Johnson and Jay Benjamin

By Patrick Coffee 

UPDATE: Some miscommunication occurred here, readers.

Today AdAge reports that The New York office will be run by Nick Johnson of Gotham and Venables Bell & Partners, and John Matejczyk has hired the recently canned Saatchi & Saatchi chief creative officer Jay Benjamin to run the department.

We had confirmed more than three weeks ago that the office would be opening and that it would be run by another Nick Johnson, but there were a few screw-ups along the way as we waited patiently for the agency to provide us with the additional information needed for this story. For once, we were in no way responsible.

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MUH-TAY-ZIK|HOF-FER, the formerly independent agency that was acquired by VCCP in May, has opened a new operation in New York City and hired Nick Johnson, formerly of Gotham, to serve as president.

This news is not a revelation: In a May Adweek piece, ECD and co-founder John Matejczyk stated that he planned to open a Manhattan location with the backing of London-based VCCP. The story also noted that the two agencies “plan to eventually enter the South American and Asian markets,” though it did not specify how, exactly, that might come about.

We’ve been in touch with MUH-TAY-ZIK’s PR team about this development since August, but they have so far declined to comment directly. Multiple sources, however, confirmed that Johnson will oversee the office and serve as president, and it seems that his title will apply across the entire organization since the agency does not currently list anyone in that position.

Various sources tell us that the New York operation remains small at this time, with a staff in the single digits. The creative department has yet to expand to Manhattan, which is primarily focused on new business. Details regarding the MUH-TAY-ZIK|HOF-FER New York location are currently unavailable, and it’s not clear whether the lease has been finalized. But we do know that the team itself has been working in an alternate space.

If the New York office ever resembles the agency’s San Francisco headquarters, there will be lots of white.

At the very least, expect MUH-TAY-ZIK|HOF-FER to begin more aggressively pitching new business in Manhattan in the months to come.

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