The stars have aligned: MDC Partners is bringing together five agencies to form a new collective it refers to as a “constellation.”
Comprised of 72andSunny and CPB, production company Hecho Studios, digital agency Instrument, and strategy and design consultancy Redscout, the collective will provide services spanning creative, data, strategy, design, user experience, storytelling and media. In addition to the resources of its respective agencies, the collective will also draw on MDC Partners for media and data capabilities.
“This collective is unified by mutual respect, home to great talent, and the drive to unleash creativity in every function,” said 72andSunny creative co-chairman John Boiler in a statement. “For so long, we’ve been part of the same family, but sitting at different tables. Now we can work together to solve problems on a bigger scale, learn from each other, and have a bigger impact for our clients and in the world.”
Each of the agencies comprising the collective will continue to go to market under their respective brands, while actively collaborating as constellation leaders determine the ideal combination of resources for individual clients.
“Our constellation combines culture, creativity and technology to create transformational business outcomes for our client partners,” Instrument CEO John Lewis said in a statement. “Working collaboratively, we will bring bigger, better and more innovative ideas into the world in ways that are unexpected and new.”
“By joining forces, the constellation brings together award-winning agencies who combine strategic rigor and radical creativity to make an impact on industry and culture,” added CPB global CEO Erik Sollenberg, who will take on COO responsibilities for the collective. “This is a modern, collaborative way of working that brings together the best of what each company has to offer while also continuing to grow our individual companies, harnessing our unique, respective offerings.”
The collective will be led by an operating council consisting of leaders from each of the five companies.
The decision is the culmination of a number of changes at the holding company in recent years. In 2018, MDC Partners acquired a majority stake in Instrument, previously an independent Portland, Ore. agency. MDC Partners spun off Hecho Studios from 72andSunny the following month. It had formerly been known as Hecho en 72. 72andSunny and Redscout have combined forces before, partnering to win a review to serve as lead U.S. agency for General Mills.
Last year, Mark Penn’s Stagwell Group acquired a stake of about 30% in MDC Partners, and Penn took over as CEO of the holding company when it faced significant debt. At the time, Penn hinted at moving toward greater collaboration between MDC Partners agencies.
“What I try to do is create a culture of collaboration where they realize they’re not just isolated islands sending in spreadsheets,” Penn told Adweek in an interview last March. “That means bringing them together around common projects where they can be successful.”
He added in a statement: “This constellation is the powerful manifestation of MDC’s core strategy of collaboration, through the lens of some of our industry’s most prominent and future-leaning leaders. Their vision brings together precisely the creative, strategic and digital experience innovation marketers need to thrive, under a collective direction that leads with bold thinking and creative excellence.”
In December, MDC Partners formed a network of seven agencies led by Detroit-based Doner.
Today’s news coincides with a report from Business Insider that MDC Partners plans to move most of its New York agencies under one roof at Manhattan’s One World Trade Center by the end of the year.