Good Times Spur Startup Action

Local Talent Prompts Companies to Build
BOSTON–As the good times continue to roll, the agency marketplace in Boston is undergoing a transformation not witnessed since the early 1980s.
Robust economic times coupled with the maturation of market leaders–Arnold Communications; Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos; and Mullen–is giving rise to new shops. But unlike the 1980s, when Boston was viewed as a good place to build a regional book of business, newcomers today are drawn by the talent that resides and chooses to stay here.
“The people who have worked in New England have two choices,” says Jamie Mambro (see above), “either move or build something on their own. While freelancing allows you to make good money and be flexible, it doesn’t really allow you to build something.”
Both Deutsch Boston and Square One agreed to open shop after being approached by midcareer professionals looking to grow their own business locally while introducing a fresh alternative. Executives at these new agencies share the belief that mid-level management is tired of moving among the same three agencies and welcomes the opportunity to grow with different players. “I think people are craving other places to express themselves,” Mambro says.
So far, though, the upstarts have not added many new jobs. Modernista!, formed in January by Arnold copywriter Lance Jensen and designer Gary Koepke, has three employees, while the office space of Deutsch Boston is under construction with a completion date tentatively slated for March. K