3 Staffers Jump Goodby Ship To Start Agency

Three employees of Goodby, Silverstein & Partners have left the agency to start their own San Francisco-based shop. Associate creative director/art director Grant Richards, associate creative director/copywriter Scott Aal and account director Brian Hurley have joined forces to create Grant, Scott & Hurley, which opens Oct. 1.
“San Francisco is a very competitive market,” said Hurley. “We know this town doesn’t need another new agency, but we still feel it’s the right place and time for us to start one. There’s always room for people to do great work.”
The partners claim to have no clients. “By next year at this time, we hope to have at least three to four small-to-medium-sized clients who consider us partners,” Hurley said.
Grant, Scott & Hurley shares this “partnership” philosophy with Swirl, another new ad agency launched here last week by Black Rocket’s Eric Roos and the now-defunct Northern Lights Interactive’s Martin Lauber and Colin Cook. The principals at both shops said they will practice a one-on-one approach to clients.
“We’re getting the sense that clients who work with big agencies are lacking the attention they really want,” said Richards. “That’s why we don’t want to grow too fast.”
Richards and Aal were the creative directors behind Goodby’s award-winning “See what develops” Polaroid campaign and Sutter Home wine ads. Their other recent efforts include work for The Good Guys! and Unum Insurance.
Hurley left Leo Burnett, Chicago, three years ago to work on Goodby’s “Got Milk?” campaign for the California Milk Processors Board. He most recently worked on Nike, Foster Farms, Bell Helmets and Sutter Home.
Rich Silverstein, Goodby’s principal and co-creative director, said he can see why young, talented ad people want to make their own mark. “Sometimes I wonder if we make it look too easy,” he said. “But I [understand] why they want to go out and try it for themselves.”