Anomaly Spin-off to Lose Leaders

NEW YORK Anomaly spin-off shop Another Anomaly is losing two leaders brought in last year from London. Partner Duncan Bird and creative partner James Cooper are both departing in the next few weeks.

Bird is returning to London, where he will continue working for independent Anomaly’s nascent operations there. He joined Anomaly here from Sony BMG Entertainment, where he was vp, brand partnerships. He previously worked as managing director of U.K. ad shop Soul and group business director at Bartle Bogle Hegarty.

Bird, who came to New York in August 2007, pinned his departure on the desire to be with his family, which returned to the U.K. in October.

Cooper is defecting to Dare, the Cossette Communications-owned U.K. digital shop he left for Anomaly in November 2007. He will launch Dare’s New York office in early 2009, according to sources. Cooper had spent two years as a creative director at Dare, and prior to that he worked at Agency Republic.

Cooper is departing Another Anomaly in early January. He said his decision to leave was separate from Bird’s.

“Working with Anomaly has been extraordinary in every way,” Cooper said. “I’ve learned an incredible amount, met some very smart people and had plenty of fun along the way.”

Dare will be the latest British digital shop to open in New York. Agency Republic and Steak Media both launched outposts here this year. Poke arrived last year.

Carl Johnson, co-founder of Anomaly, described the departures as coincidental. In addition, Anomaly recently let go of “six or seven” employees but added four others, Johnson said.

Anomaly recently won the global Umbro account, he added, which will be run out of New York.

“Nothing is as simple as it looks,” he said via e-mail in response to Web chatter of the shop’s layoffs. “I gave up caring too much what other people think some years ago now. Headlines and gossip are temporary, delivering is lasting.”

Bird will continue to work in London on an Anomaly project with Lauren Luke, a celebrity makeup artist who is rolling out a line of cosmetics in the U.S. and U.K. this spring.

Anomaly set up its spin-off shop 16 months ago after determining its headcount had grown too big to manage. At the time, executives said Another Anomaly would operate entirely separately, but teams at both shops have collaborated on efforts for several clients. The company has attempted to complement ad assignments with product development work.

Another Anomaly has about 20 employees.

Anomaly has no immediate plans to replace Bird or Cooper. Johnson said the shop and Another Anomaly’s teams were already collaborating on work for Luke and an innovation project for Coke and would continue to do so.