The William Morris Agency has partnered with the founder of Boost Mobile and the former director of Interpublic Group’s Emerging Media Lab to launch what it calls a new kind of advertising shop called Agency 3.0.
The agency, which launches with about 20 employees inside the WMA Beverly Hills office, will focus on creating content for emerging platforms and launching new revenue streams for clients, rather than fashioning traditional marketing messages, according to partner and president Greg Johnson.
“We don’t just want to generate demand” for clients, he said. “The kind of clients we’re right for are people who want to do things in the digital space and put it together beginning to end.”
Peter Adderton, founder of both Boost Mobile and Amp’d Mobile, will serve as chairman and CEO. Two of his cofounders from those ventures are joining him as well: Steve Sanford will be partner and president of content and entertainment, and Scott Anderson will be partner and chief creative officer.
Johnson, former director of IPG’s Emerging Media Lab, will lead a practice focusing on consumer brand companies. He said the pairing of mobile and digital expertise, combined with the Hollywood firepower of WMA, makes Agency 3.0 “the ideal next generation” agency.
“We think an agency should be able to [create] content and focus on building a business from all sides,” he said.
WMA is backing the venture with an undisclosed investment. Johnson said the agency launches with a handful of clients, though he did not disclose names.
The agency hopes to take a non-traditional approach to compensation as well. While it will determine pay structures on a client-by-client basis, Johnson said the agency hopes to take a stake in each effort and be paid on performance.
“We’d like to be partners as much as possible in the businesses we’re helping to create,” he said. “We’ll see how that manifests itself, but it’s not our goal to be a classic fee-per-service agency model. We want to be much more performance-centric and really get paid for how effective our work is.”
Agency 3.0 is not the first agency to emerge this week with a focus on content development. The Third Act, a new unit of Digitas, was unveiled Monday with the promise of offering idea generation, creation and distribution for its clients’ branded video content initiatives.
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