Zeus Jones San Francisco Partners Launch New Agency

By Patrick Coffee 

Chapter SF

Three co-founders of the San Francisco office of Zeus Jones — an agency that most recently made news with this odd Tim and Eric-driven promo for Totino’s — have broken off from their parent company to found their own shop called Chapter San Francisco (homepage here).

The former agency’s first West Coast office opened just over a year ago, earning coverage from one Stuart Elliott (who we miss already). The driving force behind the expansion was Gareth Kay, GS&P CSO who left the agency in December 2013 after more than four years with the Goodby organization. Kay expanded his executive team last March with the addition of former AKQA ECD Neil Robinson, who held the founding partner title.

The list of Zeus Jones SF partners grew again with the October hiring of Brandon Kaplan, former director of interactive production at W+K New York. But his stint as a Zeus employee — which earned a full write-up in AdAge — lasted approximately three months.

Now the three and their existing teams have formed an independent operation. Chapter SF officially launched yesterday.

Kay explained the move to us today:

“We [and the Zeus Jones Minneapolis office] realized that we had both been running successful businesses that were operating more or less independently. We have been gaining traction at a much faster rate than any of us expected and, with the Minneapolis business stronger than ever, we all felt it made the most sense now for Zeus Jones San Francisco to be its own independent entity.

We part ways amicably and wish all at Zeus Jones well. We are excited to continue working with a terrific group of client partners and continue to be in pursuit of wicked problems to solve for pioneering companies.”

Eric Frost, partner at Zeus Jones Minneapolis, had similarly kind words for the Chapter team:

“We were fortunate enough to have known Gareth for some time. We started the SF venture a year ago, and it was a test from the outset…but no one anticipated its success. As the year went on and their business continued to develop and grow, it seemed more and more like the offices were operating independently — so we chatted with them, and  the most natural thing to do was for them to continue growing the way they wanted. It made sense for them to spin off into an independent entity.

We are parting on good terms, and we are amazed by their growth. But they are no longer Zeus Jones employees: the new entity is wholly owned by its founders/partners.”

Chapter’s current client list includes Salesforce, Mozilla, and The Weather Channel. Here’s a Medium post in which the founders announce the launch and explain what “wicked problems” means.

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