Chris Howatson on how past relationships are proving fruitful for Howatson + Company

According to Chris Howatson – CEO and founder of independent agency Howatson + Company – a year in, the business is flourishing thanks to trust built across existing relationships.

Speaking on this week’s Mumbrellacast, he said: “I think what we’re really appreciating, which is something that I am still so grateful for to this day, is that our businesses has largely grown off incumbent relationships, people that we’ve worked with before that we’ve built great trust in.”


Howatson said this has allowed his agency to “essentially grow so quickly”, because it hasn’t had to spend too much time “pitching with uncertainty”, instead being able to focus on real problems.

While Howatson could not publicly comment on specifics of the ongoing business wins, Mumbrella understands it is working with Qantas on some Frequent Flyer projects.

He also hinted some of the connections Levi Slavin – who took up his role in January, replacing founding partner, Ant White – has made has resulted in a “few” projects the agency has started working on currently.

During the interview, Howatson clarified the extent of Slavin’s chief creative officer role, in relation to that of the founding partner, as he stated it is exactly the same, without the legacy and stake in the business.

CCO at Howatson+ Company, Levi Slavin

“Ant and I were equal partners and I bought his share out of the business, so Levi doesn’t have that sort of legacy, but his role as CCO is to be the governor of our creative product and a leader in the agency across everything we do. So I couldn’t be happier at having a partner in creativity as Levi.”

Howatson continued that there is “no greater compliment” than when a client calls you “and they’ve just started a new job, they’re looking for someone to support them, and they call you to do that”.

“We take that with incredible responsibility and that’s really what we’re seeing has been a real driver of our growth, is that previous trust is translating to new projects.”

Across the rest of the interview, Howatson discusses the agency one year in, lessons learned and reflections from striking out alone, the industry being more supportive of creative work, the differences to working in a group set up, and marketing innovations.

listen to all the past episodes here. 


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.