MDC Partners Buys Stake in Cliff Freeman

NEW YORK MDC Partners has purchased a 20 percent stake in New York independent Cliff Freeman and Partners, the agency and MDC confirmed.

The Toronto-based company also owns stakes in Miami-based Crispin Porter + Bogusky and Kirshenbaum Bond + Partners of New York. The addition of Cliff Freeman adds another layer of creative cachet, though the agency is in a rebuilding mode after last year’s and client and personnel defections.

In a statement, Chuck Porter, chief strategist for MDC and chairman of CP+B, said, “Most advertising is just wallpaper and background noise, but Cliff Freeman has always done work that breaks through and gets noticed. That is what more and more marketers are looking for these days and that is what Cliff Freeman can deliver. I think the future of the agency looks great.”

Shop principal Cliff Freeman is best known for creating Wendy’s “Where’s the beef?” campaign in the 1980s and Little Caesar’s “Pizza! Pizza!” ads.

In a statement, Freeman said, “MDC and Cliff Freeman share a core belief—inspired creative and inspired ideas are the strongest weapons any brand can have to survive and triumph. We’re thrilled to be a part of this unique network.”

This is the second time the Freeman agency has been owned by a larger entity. In 2000, it bought itself back from Saatchi & Saatchi, which is now part of Publicis Groupe.

MDC chairman and CEO Miles Nadal called Cliff Freeman “one of the most renowned men in advertising” and praised his “creative ideals.”