Colby CCO Exits

LOS ANGELES Rick Colby said he is leaving Dentsu’s Colby & Partners.

He declined to detail the reasons for his departure, which leaves the Santa Monica, Calif., agency without its chief creative officer. Colby plans to open a new shop focused on Internet advertising and local clients.

Dentsu executives could not immediately be reached for comment.

The shop handles Suzuki Motors (in its Brea, Calif., outpost), as well as Bandai Toys, Domaine Chandon, Sharp Electronics, Japan Airlines and Beverly Center, among others. Overall billings are about $200 million.

Colby launched a shop called Larsen Colby in 1984. He soon partnered with New York-based creative director George Lois and the agency went through various name changes before Colby left in 1997 to run the Lord Dentsu shop in Santa Monica. After a year as Colby Effler, the company was rechristened Colby & Partners.

“Our only clients [in the early days] were California Avocados and Suzuki Motorcycles, and they’re still clients today, which says something,” said Colby.

“I think we did great. It was a good run and we were very successful,” Colby said. “The agency was one of the few [from that era] to be successful and really grow. But for me, it is time to move on.”