Microsoft Taps Startup

Athorn, Clark & Partners has signaled its arrival on the New York ad scene with a trade print campaign for Microsoft Windows NT 4.0.
The 7-month-old high-tech specialty shop was co-founded by former Anderson & Lembke creative director John Athorn and managing director George Clark. A&L’s New York office was folded into Angotti, Thomas, Hedge here in January.
Billings for AC&P’s creative-only Microsoft assignment were not disclosed.
“It’s an interim project,” said Khristine Stebbins, lead product manager for Windows NT 4.0. “[It] came up during our transition between Wieden and McCann.” Last month, the software giant consolidated its $230 million domestic ad duties from Wieden & Kennedy in Portland Ore., to McCann/A&L in San Francisco.
“We didn’t plan on being a thorn in anyone’s side,” said Athorn, noting that Microsoft came to his agency prior to the McCann move.
AC&P, which declined to disclose its billings, currently employs 18 staff members, including creative director John Malecki, Athorn’s former partner at A&L.
Its client roster includes Plaut Consulting, Cognizant Technologies, Agfa, Fore Systems, Ingersoll-Dresser Pumps, SCT and TSI –the last four of which migrated to AC&P from A&L in New York.
“We have such a specialized expertise,” said Clark. “[In] understanding this world and market, you can’t just call in anyone.