VB&P Partner, Strategy Director Leaves Advertising to Launch Her Own Consultancy

By Patrick Coffee 

Lucy Farey-Jones resigned from San Francisco’s Venables Bell & Partners this week after 15 years with the indie agency.

Farey-Jones was a member of the small group that founded the shop back in 2001, and she served as its executive strategy director during much of her tenure; she was also part of the new five-person management team announced in late 2014. She came to VB&P after working as a planner with DDB London and BBDO West/San Francisco, but her new venture will take her away from the ad industry altogether. Her consultancy Register will primarily work with startups, seed ventures and the “innovation divisions” of established businesses, providing “demand management services” that stem directly from her training in the planning discipline.

Agency founder and chairman Paul Venables provided the following statement regarding her departure.

“Lucy Farey-Jones has recently left VB&P to launch her new consulting business, Register. The agency would not be where we are today without her and we will miss her. We admire her fearlessness in pursuing her passions and new career path, and truly look forward to what we know will be great success with her new venture.”

Her profile has already been removed from the agency’s home page as she moves on to the next phase in her career.

The agency’s four partners are now Venables himself, managing director Kate Jeffers, ECD Will McGinness and president Paul Birks-Hay. Farey-Jones had played a less directly hands-on role at the agency over the past year or more, though she was still very much involved in the agency’s larger strategic plans. For that reason, we hear that her departure will not have a significant effect on the agency’s general business.

Regarding Register (home page here), Farey-Jones already has 3 clients listed and, according to the website, plans to name fellow partners soon. The organization’s tagline reads as such: “What if startups had access to the same proven demand-management strategies as the Fortune 500?

Register’s clients are not all tech: Children’s Day School, for example, is an alternative institution in San Francisco “where children of all backgrounds feel safe to be themselves.” We also hear that Farey-Jones’s new company will advise non-profits focused on social impact.

Like many other, similarly-minded organizations, Register’s business model combines a “fixed fee” with equity arrangements concerning “early-stage startups we believe in.”

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