Sue Worthington announced her departure from the helm of creative talent representation company The Pond a few weeks back. Now she's made another announcement, and this time it's about the structure of new "collaborative boutique agency" Indiego, which she will run alongside strategist/project manager Rose Cron and design/brand developer Mikkel Johannessen.
Worthington, who spent five years at The Pond and will act as creative director at the new agency, says Indiego will specialise in brand building and communications and aims to provide all the services of a traditional agency, but—in a similar fashion to the likes of Federation, Shine, Consortium and other 'hubs' that contract out the grunt work to a pool of freelancers—with a stripped-back, direct-to-client approach.
“We did toy with announcing a traditional agency and figured it might be fun to go out there promising long lunches, creative silos, big production wings, no digital understanding, lots of layers and a big expensive show-off office," she says. "But we’re actually the opposite of all that (especially the offices). Our new shop is really about senior creatives collaborating with, and being creative partners to businesses.”
Although Worthington says setting up Indiego is an exciting new journey, growing The Pond to the point where it now represents over 90 independent creatives is an accomplishment she's extremely proud of.
“I know that Leighton and team are going to continue doing really well, but I’m now happy to be able to be back putting ideas into action and drawing on my connections and experience after years of helping place great talent into agencies," she says.
All three have all successfully owned and operated several businesses in the past, and Worthington says this entrepreneurial streak is one of the biggest drawcards.
“One thing we have in common with the people we like to work with is that we all have an appreciation for business and have, and do, all run businesses ourselves. We know what it is like to have your own money on the line. And, I think, crucially, we know the importance of creativity in business.”
Cron, an account director with more than 20 years experience running some of New Zealand’s biggest accounts through Saatchi & Saatchi, Colenso BBDO and Publicis Mojo, says the new company has fairly simple goals.
"We want to connect with clients, we want to create great work and we want to collaborate on ideas that are going to grow businesses," she says.
And Johannessen, who brings 17 years of international experience working at design and ad agencies in Stockholm, London, Melbourne, Sydney and Oslo, thinks what Indiego is doing is part of a wider industry trend.
“Many smart, intelligent, creative people have gone overseas and worked for the biggest and best agencies globally. But they’ve outgrown the agency model. They have a passion for business and want to work more closely with savvy marketers,” he says. "... We believe we have world class creative to tap into and with the work we are already doing, both globally and locally, we are seeing great interest. We live here, we work everywhere.”