Martin Yeoman and Jamie Hitchcock set to leave Assignment to launch indie shop

Assignment group managing partner (and head of strategy) Martin Yeoman and creative director Jamie Hitchcock have confirmed that they’re establishing their own communications company called The Enthusiasts.

The duo has been at Assignment for the last seven years, with both joining the agency in 2010.

Hitchcock initially joined Assignment following the agency’s acquisition of indie shop, Josh & Jamie, which he co-owned with former art director and now full-time artist Josh Lancaster (the acquisition happened only six months after the initial launch of Josh & Jamie).

Around the same time, Yeoman joined the Assignment from Publicis Mojo, where he served as planning director.

In starting their own shop, Yeoman and Hitchcock say they hope to deliver an enterprise that meets modern client demands by offering “speed, flexibility and greater collaboration with internal talent and other partners”.

Asked about the unusual name for the agency, Yeoman says that it describes the attitude that they bring to the business      

Hitchcock adds: “It also describes the people we want to work with. Enthusiasm is the foundation for great relationships, great work and consumers are drawn to it.”

While the pair has already confirmed the new agency, they will remain at Assignment Group until The Enthusiasts opens its doors on 9 June this year.

Assignment chief executive Peter Biggs congratulated the pair on their decision to start their own business but added that this does not imply the end of Assignment’s relationship with them. 

“We will still be working with them very closely,” Biggs says.

Biggs says that the pair will still be contracted by Assignment to work with several clients, ensuring that the transition runs as smoothly as possible.  

“This is a grown-up solution for a grown-up agency, and it shows that we genuinely put our clients first,” he said.

He also pointed to Assignment’s ongoing partnerships with former staffers Howard Grieve and John Plimmer, who are still called on to work on specific projects. 

Biggs said that Assignment would be announcing replacements for Yeoman and Hitchcock in the coming weeks.

This announcement comes during a period of change for the agency and follows on from the departure of Toby Talbot, who recently resurfaced at Saatchi & Saatchi for the second time in his career.

It will be interesting to see which new faces are added to the Assignment staff roster in the coming weeks.   

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