Moving on

People in the agency business come and go on a regular basis. For any number of reasons. While the trends may not be as pronounced locally as they are at a national level, it certainly happens.

But every once in a while there’s a departure that makes us stand up and take notice. In recent months, there have been two.

In late November, Marc Cowlin exited his role as VP of Content and Digital Marketing at Duft Watterson, and in doing so effectively shuttered the shop’s San Francisco presence. A little digging around LinkedIn in the weeks that followed revealed that he is now with BlueOwl, a San Francisco-based technology company.

Separately, in late December Jeremy Chase left Drake Cooper (again), this time to take on the role of VP of Business Development at Salt Lake City-based Love Communications. The update came a couple weeks after Drake Cooper’s announcement that agency ownership had been converted to an ESOP structure.

I do not presume to know the reasons behind either of these departures, as there’s always more to the story than what may be shared publicly.

I’ve known both Jeremy and Marc for many years, and wish them nothing but the best in their respective new roles.

Bursting at the seams

Duft Watterson has gone through quite the growth spurt over the past several months.

In April, they announced the addition of two new team members, Designer Sam Fischer and Account Coordinator and Content Writer Angie Heuring.

Shortly thereafter, they grew by three more, as Account Managers Casaundra Petersen and Shauna Tefft, and Designer Jeff Lautenslager joined the team.

Thought they were done? Not even close.

Their most recent additions, based on what they’ve shared on Instagram and published on their website, are Designer Randi Arnot, Senior Designer Inna Grishchuk, Account Manager Hanna Wenter, Senior Copywriter Rich Lufrano, Digital Programmer David Scholer, and Videographer and Photographer Michael Bonocore.

Phew! That’s a lot of new names and faces to try and keep track of. And yes, there will be a quiz. Better study up.

The cycle repeats itself

If you follow an industry long enough, you start to see the same patterns and cycles repeat themselves every so often. The ebbs and flows of staffing as clients come and go through different shops. The shouting from the rooftops PR pushes, followed by periods of radio silence.

This one is no exception.

Every decade or so, there’s another wave of new businesses that make an appearance. Call them agencies, call them creative shops — whatever label you choose to put on them, it happens like clockwork. Some survive, some thrive, and others wilt away.

Often, those new agencies are formed by senior or experienced staff from other agencies that want to be in charge of their own destiny.

A decade ago, it was the likes of Carew Co., Red Sky, Sovrn, The Agency Creative Network, and Mitchell Palmer who made their grand entrances.

And like clockwork, another chapter in this story is being written.

It started a little over year ago with Duft Watterson, whose namesakes split from Stoltz Marketing Group to hang up their own shingle. Our friends at Boise Dev recently published a piece on them.

It continued earlier this year with the launch of Against. Founded by former Drake Cooper staffers Jennie Myers and Brad Weigle, Against bills themselves as a creative company that “focuses on helping companies define their purpose and rebel against the norm.”

Collectively, Myers and Weigle have over 20 years of experience, and have worked with clients in myriad industries, from finance and technology to consumer packaged goods, real estate and much more.

In addition to launching Against, Myers and Weigle have also developed a unique certificate of innovation and design (ID:EA Certificate), offered through the College of Innovation and Design at Boise State University.

Once again, the cycle repeats itself. The question remains — who else will join this latest group?