Hope you all have a very happy Festivus as you celebrate your feats of strength and the airing of the grievances. While you enjoy many a Festivus miracle around the aluminum pole, take some time to get distracted by the tinsel that is the Revolving Door Roundup, the final gathering of agency moves for the year.
Have a merry happy holiday season and we’ll spin the door again in 2022.
Barbarian, the digital creative agency backed by Cheil, has made a series of senior appointments to cope with a surge of new business. The agency has hired Melissa Fry from Keurig Dr Pepper as director for people and culture. Fry will scale and build a recruitment process for new talent and promote the agency’s diversity and inclusion strategy. Previously director of operations at Dr Pepper’s internal agency Liquid Sunshine, she has also worked at agencies including VaynerMedia and Crispin Porter Bogusky and was studio manager for Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor.
The agency has also hired executive producer Shannon Rutkowsky as director of production and business management. She comes with a wealth of experience at agencies including Digitas, Wunderman Thompson and MRM/McCann, and will take the lead on Barbarian’s original content creation. She will also oversee the newly-created business affairs department.
A third senior hire is Jo Hayes, who joins from R/GA as director of data insights and analytics. Hayes was co-founder of Agency DEI, the industry diversity database and has led measurement and solutions for brands including Samsung, Disney, Verizon and Uber.
Carat US announced that Mark Jones has been appointed to U.S. client president and will continue to deliver media solutions for clients through emotional intelligence. Jones previously worked at Publicis Groupe, Viacom and WPP. Prior to his latest position, Jones was evp, managing director, Carat.
Digital marketing agency Feed has joined Dept to further accelerate its global creative automation practice and expand Dept’s footprint into Canada and Australia. Feed specializes in delivering hyper-personalized content at scale for global brands such as eBay, Gumtree and Ancestry.com. Feed has over 200 experts across offices in London, Manchester, San Francisco, Berlin, Sydney, Paris and Toronto.
Now part of Dept, The Feed Group will continue to operate under the leadership of its founder Matt Lynch and its existing management team. Backed by investment firm The Carlyle Group, this is Dept’s fourth acquisition of the year following marketing technology agency Byte in February, U.S.-based software consultancy Devetry in April and Croatian development agency Blazing Edge in July.
Engine, a global media and marketing services company, made three key appointments to its account and production teams: Melissa Brown, executive producer, Frank Normandin, senior account director, and Katie Schade, senior account director.
Brown comes to Engine with over 15 years of experience beginning at Saatchi & Saatchi. At Engine, her responsibilities include overseeing and ensuring a high standard on all multi-platform productions within the agency. Her current client focus is Aruba Tourism Authority, Credible and HBO.
Normandin joins Engine from VCCP New York, where he helped open the Manhattan office while serving as the North American lead on the global Shell Oil business. Prior to VCCP, he spent five years at Swift Agency in Portland, Oregon.
Schade joined Engine to run the Aruba Tourism Authority account and works on the APEI business and recently acquired Paw Patrol 10th Anniversary project. Early in her career, Schade worked in the toy and game category, but shifted her focus to all things social, managing digital accounts for large brands.
Finn has hired Victoria Petrock as vice president, senior content strategist. Petrock will lead the agency’s Midwest content strategy and marketing team, collaborating with the Finn Midwest account, digital and creative teams, and overseeing the team’s existing content specialists. Petrock brings 20 years of integrated marketing, communications and research experience to Finn Partners, most recently as principal analyst at Insider Intelligence.
Fusion92, a Chicago-based marketing innovation company, has named Emily Szymczak chief financial officer and will lead the firm’s financial strategy and management. Szymczak has over 20 years of experience serving in finance roles and will be a key leader in further expanding and implementing Fusion92’s more comprehensive approach to financial management as the firm experiences continued growth.
Szymczak spent the last three years as the global chief financial officer for rEvolution Marketing, a Chicago-based sports marketing agency. Previously, she held leadership roles for several top agencies, including the Engine Group, The Marketing Store and Leo Burnett.
Independent brand and communications agency Human Design has appointed Lou Pinto as executive director, people and operations. In this role, Pinto will be responsible to find, develop, motivate and retain talent and drive the agency DEI efforts.
Pinto most recently served as a consultant to start-up and small agencies including Green Stone, Colossus Creative, Spectacle Strategy and The Venturous. Previously, she was the HR and operations lead at WorkInProgress and associate director at Crispin Porter + Bogusky.
Joan Creative has expanded with 30 new hires, allowing the creative agency to better serve its growing roster of brands, which includes Facebook, Virgin Hotels and Hewlett Packard Enterprise.
Leadership team members include Mike Reuter, group account director joining from Anomaly, Shrivika Jain, group account director, and Kristin Van Note, group strategy director.
Keywords Studios, an international technical and creative services provider to the global video games industry, has acquired independent creative agency Waste Creative. Based in London and founded by Visar Statovci and Mike Petricevic in 2006, Waste Creative’s team of 70 people provides strategy and creative production services, including player community management, for mobile video game creators, including Supercell, Nintendo and Riot Games. Statovci, Petricevic and the entire team will remain with the business.
The acquisition will help to address the increasing demand from the group’s client base for games as a service support covering the full marketing lifespan of games, from pre-launch support to post launch ongoing support, with a focus on community engagement and retention.
Keywords Studios has also acquired Wicked Witch Software, a 73-person video game development studio in Melbourne, Australia.
Creative marketing and advertising agency Øuterkind has hired four marketing leaders: associate creative director Joanna Kammer, account supervisor Alyssa Montoya, social media manager Alia Miller and partner Jason Wozny to support its rapid growth.
Wozny joins Øuterkind with more than two decades of experience working with clients including Pepsi, Ford, MillerCoors and Climate Reality Project, among others. His focus at the agency will be on crafting digitally led solutions for Øuterkind’s existing roster of clients in the automotive, CPG and powersports space.
Kammer is a seasoned creative leader who will lead all creative initiatives at Øuterkind. Previously, she was owner/creative director of her own firm, and before that was senior art director at Grey.
Montoya joined Øuterkind as account supervisor and will lead efforts across a number of beauty and hair care brands. Most recently she was a senior account director at Moxie Sozo.
Rain the Growth Agency
Performance marketing shop Rain the Growth Agency has been selected as media and creative AOR by ChenMed, a provider of concierge-style medicine and primary care to Medicare-eligible seniors. Rain the Growth Agency will oversee branding, media planning, and creative for the brand. ChenMed selected Rain the Growth Agency due to its expertise in scaling DTC companies, proven track record in successfully reaching the age 55+ consumer segment and extensive healthcare experience. The agency will provide brand strategy, media planning, media measurement, media buying, customer journey mapping and creative concepting and execution.
In an effort to propel its brand design and consulting offering, R/GA has appointed Melissa Jackson Parsey as vp, managing director to oversee the practice. Additionally, Augustus Cook was named executive creative director.
Jackson Parsey joins R/GA from creative network B-Reel, where she served as global chief strategy officer. Prior to that, she was head of strategy at transformation consultancy Co:Collective, where she built an interdisciplinary strategy group and offering.
Cook joined R/GA in 2015 as a design director from JKR New York. Since then, he’s led multiple global brand and identity projects for key clients, including Nike, Google, PepsiCo’s Bubly, Evolved by Nature, Shopify, Home Depot and more as group creative director. In partnership with Jackson Parsey, Cook will chart the new creative ambition for the brand design and consulting practice.
Commerce agency The Stable has acquired two leading Shopify agencies, BVA and Zehner. These strategic acquisitions bring together The Stable’s retail strength with BVA and Zehner’s deep DTC and Shopify design and implementation expertise.
“With these two acquisitions, we are now best positioned to help brands activate across all channels for where the world of retail is now and in the future,” Chad Hetherington, CEO and co-founder of The Stable said in a statement.
The Stable will now employ more than 500 people with offices in Minneapolis, Bentonville, Seattle, Los Angeles, Vancouver, and virtually across the U.S.
Wavemaker has expanded its marketing intelligence and science leadership team with three key appointments: Jing Suk, Susan Cunningham and Flavia Lan.
Suk joins the agency as executive director, marketing intelligence and science. Suk previously led the marketing technology and data team at Hearts & Science, where she developed global solutions for clients challenged with industry-wide privacy and technology changes.
Cunningham joins Wavemaker as executive director, marketing intelligence and science, and is responsible for the agency’s West Coast practice. She previously worked at firms including Annalect, Digitas, DDB and Goodby Silverstein & Partners.
Lan joins Wavemaker as executive director, head of data engineering and science. Prior to Wavemaker, Lan was head of data science at InsightBox where she led the data strategy process for established blue-chip brands. Prior to InsightBox, Lan held positions at Herbalife, Riot Games and Hallmark.