WPP Names Kristen Martini CEO of Its New Grey/Hogarth Production Agency Townhouse

By Patrick Coffee 

townhouse logo 3

Today WPP officially announced, via an internal memo, that it has named longtime director Kristen Martini as the first CEO of its not-quite-new production agency Townhouse. President Bennett McCarroll reports to her.

Martini has been with the holding company for 4 years, most recently serving as director of client services for WPP marketing implemention agency Hogarth in New York. She previously held operations roles at Nice Shoes, Digitas, JWT, FCB and other area shops.

Townhouse’s unique proposition, according to WPP, is that it offers clients strategy services in addition to more traditional production work and that it does not handle project-based assignments. It primarily serves Grey clients (read: P&G).

Martini has been leading Townhouse since this summer and currently manages 200 employees, but the holding company just made her position official internally and has yet to go public with any news regarding the operation (home page here). The reasoning behind the delay was a desire to ensure that Townhouse was fully operational before the announcement went out.

Google searches regarding the unit bring up the Screen Actors Guild’s complaint from April alleging that Grey used non-union talent when casting its ads. Its name is not “Townhouse 23” as SAG claimed, but its address is 230 Park Avenue. (There appeared to be some confusion over whether the organization in question was part of Grey or WPP, and SAG has not made any recent comments about the matter.)

kristen martiniHere’s the memo:

As you probably know by now, WPP has established a new full-service production capability in New York called Townhouse. It will form part of Hogarth’s global production specialty offering and will be focused on Grey creative clients. It has been staffed by approximately 200 professionals who have been transferred from Grey and Hogarth.

Kristen Martini has been named the CEO of Townhouse New York.

Kristen has been part of the WPP family for the past four years, most recently at Hogarth New York where she was Director of Client Services.  She brings extensive experience in integrated production and has held management positions at JWT, FCB and Digitas.

Townhouse will begin to expand so that it can service P&G on a Global basis. First in UK, then EMEA followed by APAC and LATAM.

We’ve asked Kristen to serve as the Global production leader on P&G and spearhead the rollout effort focusing on this key client. Kristen will work closely with Kelli Tuggle and with our many P&G account, creative and production professionals around the globe both at Grey and Hogarth.

We are excited about this new WPP capability and we want to move quickly on rolling it out for P&G.

Kristen will coordinate her efforts with Grey and Hogarth regional leadership, but any office that currently provides production services to P&G will hear from Kristen.

Please give her your complete support in this important expansion.

Jim Heekin
Chairman and CEO
Grey Group

Richard Glasson
Chief Executive Officer
Hogarth Worldwide