Rocky V: the Droga departure

After leaving Saatchi & Saatchi to set up the local outpost of Droga5 in April 2010, it’s believed business partner Andrew Stone has left the building after a few eventful years at the helm. 

Neither Stone or creative partner Mike O’Sullivan were able to be contacted, but our source says it’s a done deal and he is, as the euphemism often goes, off to do some consultancy work (he is still listed as a a director on the Companies Office, which also shows he used to be a director of Evil Tyrant Corp). 

Given their big agency heritage, many were surprised when Stone and O’Sullivan, along with digital chief Jose Alomajan, took the reins at Droga5 and promised an agency that was “very new and very different”. But some of those doubters were proven wrong when it took the big ASB account off TBWA\—along with a few of its senior staffers. 

It did some good work on what was a massive rebrand and, more recently, its Experience ASB campaign was thought to be very successful in attracting new customers, but there were also a few well-publicised misfires, like the IVF ad and the slightly invasive ‘Hello, I’m…’ plastered on everything from branch doors to business cards. A few months back it lost the ASB business without a pitch to Saatchi & Saatchi. 

The agency also got into a bit of hot water late last year after launching a controversial campaign for Turtle Beach that sent a Kiwi gamer to what he thought was Iraq, but it was really all a big ‘gotcha’ that got out of control. 

It’s thought O’Sullivan is sticking around, working with Chris Long, who was creative director at bcg2 in Auckland for two years, and Nathan Cooper, who swapped his role as executive creative director at Anomaly London for a view of the Viaduct recently. 

Jason Clapperton came on board as planning director in late 2011, but is now thought to be back with indie agency Running With Scissors, which he originally set up with fellow directors Andy Mitchell and Friday O’Flaherty. 

Droga5 was established by Australian advertising executive David Droga in New York in 2006, was named Creativity Magazine Agency of the Year within two years of launching and has global partnerships with Puma, Microsoft, Activision and others. 

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