Martin Cass Joins MDC as CEO of Assembly, Steve Farella to Serve as Chairman, and Michael Nicholas Enlisted as Entrepreneur in Residence, Chief Experience Officer
MDC’s Creative Heritage and Varick Media Management’s Advertising Technology Build on the Merged Media Expertise of TargetCast and RJ Palmer
New York, NY, March 5, 2014 – MDC Partners Inc. (NASDAQ: MDCA; TSX: MDZ.A) announced today that it has hired Martin Cass, former President of Carat USA, to lead its newest initiative in the rapidly evolving media space. As part of MDC’s continued commitment to innovation in marketing, the company is launching a new media agency called Assembly. Built on the unmatched creativity of MDC’s partner network, the new firm combines the expertise of TargetCast and RJ Palmer with the proven technology of Varick Media Management to deliver a unique offering in today’s media environment. Cass will lead the agency as CEO, while Steve Farella, previously CEO of TargetCast, will serve as Chairman.
“We have innovated our business around the conviction that creativity is a force for profitable business change, and we see that advertising technology is rapidly leaving traditional media agencies behind, forcing clients to go elsewhere to navigate the landscape,” said Miles S. Nadal, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of MDC Partners. “To provide clients with a crucially necessary new model, Martin and Steve have combined proven media expertise with a legacy-free, entrepreneurial approach to developing media technology and MDC’s heritage of disruptive creativity.”
“We don’t see advertising technology and automation as contradictory to the human creativity powering meaningful communication,” said Cass. “By optimizing a marketer’s media investments more effectively with technology, we are freeing up significant resources to create the truly breakthrough ideas that meaningfully connect brands with consumers.”
Cass joins MDC and Assembly with over 25 years of experience leading media agencies, most recently heading an organization of 600 associates at Carat. He was instrumental in the growth of the agency through integration of digital capabilities, development of data analytics and scaled adoption of communication planning, culminating in the global appointment by General Motors and the honor of Agency of the Year by the U.S. press for the past two years. Cass brings global executive experience to MDC, having worked across Europe, Asia and North America, partnering with many of the world’s leading marketers, including American Express, Beiersdorf, Diageo, Disney, Gillette, Procter & Gamble, The Home Depot, JM Smucker, Red Bull and Relativity Media.
To lead Assembly’s forward-thinking creative technology approach, Cass and Farella have enlisted former Chief Strategy Officer of Isobar, Michael Nicholas, as the agency’s Entrepreneur in Residence, Chief Experience Officer. Having led large agencies, small start-ups and strategy groups for the past 15 years, Nicholas is best known for building media technology and has worked with brands including adidas, Coca-Cola, Microsoft, Reebok, and Samsung. Also as part of the new agency offering, Peter Knobloch, former CEO of RJ Palmer, will serve as Assembly’s Chief Investment Officer leading all buying, while Jim Vail, former President of RJ Palmer, Audrey Seigel, former President of TargetCast, and Steve Minichini, former President of TargetCast’s Interactive Marketing, will all serve as Managing Partners of the new agency. In addition to their responsibilities with Assembly, Cass and Farella also take on the roles of CEO and Chairman, respectively, of MDC Media Partners – the network’s umbrella of specialist media capabilities including all of MDC’s current and future media technology and service offerings.
“I’ve seen more industry change in the last three years than in the previous 30 years,” said Farella. “Today, I’m thrilled to be partnering with Martin, one of the industry’s most forward-thinking media executives, to bring a new solution focused on innovation and creativity to deliver profitable growth for our clients. I’m excited that Assembly will re-write the rules for how media can build brands and propel businesses forward.”
About MDC Partners Inc.
MDC Partners is one of the world’s largest Business Transformation Organizations that utilizes technology, marketing communications, data analytics, insights and strategic consulting solutions to drive meaningful returns on Marketing and Communications Investments for multinational clients in the United States, Canada, and worldwide.
MDC Partners’ durable competitive advantage is to Empower the Most Talented Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders to Drive Business Success to new levels of Achievement, for both our Clients and our Shareholders, reinforcing MDC Partners’ reputation as “The Place Where Great Talent Lives.”
MDC Partners’ Class A shares are publicly traded on NASDAQ under the symbol “MDCA” and on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol “MDZ.A”.
SVP, Corporate Communications