WPP veteran Simon Collins and equality campaign mastermind Tim Gartrell reveal agency Collins Gartell

Simon Collins, the former executive creative director at WPP’s creative shop 1 Kent St has paired up with the former campaign director of the marriage equality campaign, Tim Gartell to launch new creative agency Collins Gartell.

Collins told Mumbrella the duo bring together unusual skillsets offering both brand based commercial advertising and political marketing.

Collins said the agency is set to launch before Christmas

Collins said the types of clients Collins Gartrell will attract are those who “might be wary of going to traditional ad agencies with comparatively narrow skill sets”.

He added: “I currently have traditional advertising clients who simply prefer to work with me than work with all the cost and administrative complexities of a traditional full service ad agency. The consultancy I have had over the past few months has attracted clients who want to work with a creative who is not only strategic but also very experienced in production.

“Most creative directors don’t get involved until the strategy has been decided and then at some point in the creative process they will either delegate the writing or creation of the work, and then subsequently the production of that work to somebody who has got no strategic understanding of the problems,” Collins said.

Collins said he was confident the new agency offers something different to the market, a proposition which has “one foot in the political-stroke-campaigning world and another in hard core advertising”.

Meanwhile, Gartrell most recently worked on The Marriage Equality ‘Yes’ campaign and was also the national campaign director for the Australian Labor Party between 2003 and 2008.

Gartrell previously worked on The Marriage Equality ‘Yes’ campaign

Collins left WPP’s 1 Kent Street in October announcing he was leaving the agency to start his own consultancy but said he would continue to contract for WPP AUNZ.

Speaking of his time at 1 Kent Street, Collins said: “I liked working with clients who didn’t want to work with big cumbersome agencies anymore, so when I came to WPP there was a hope I could do something like that within the agency, but it didn’t quite work out that way as they were going through a transition and becoming a large regional network.”

2016 saw WPP complete its takeover of the STW Group.

The agency will officially launch in the next few days and has already posted a website explaining the agency’s offerings: campaign strategy, creative direction, campaign execution, brand conception and development, public affairs, direction and film content and execution in other media and research and analysis to inform strategy.

Looking to the future, Collins said: “I am confident we will be successful, inevitably we will grow. I do quite like the idea of being small because we have to be able to deliver against our promise of things like not delegating to juniors who have got no relevant experience.”


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