STW-owned Ikon Communications is opening an office in New York in a joint venture with Ikon founder and CEO Gary Hardwick and ad agency Droga5.
The agency, which will be called Ikon 3, will open its doors on November 1 and will serve as Dogra5′s in-house media partner as well as representing external clients, although it has no clients as yet.
The business will be based at Droga5′s office in the SoHo district of the city and will be 60% owned by Hardwick who will relocate to the US. Droag5, owned by Australian adman David Droga and STW will each own 20% of the agency.
It is the first time an Australian media agency has opened its doors in the competitive US market. The agency was called Ikon3because it is the third market
Ikon has opened in after Australia and New Zealand. Hardwick said Ikon3 will access and adopt IP from the Australian operation and localise it for the US market. He said it would also develop services in channel and receptivity planning, mobile, search and performance, social and community engagement, campaign amplification and media buying, “creating a spring board for a new level of collaboration to provide a very modern take on the full service agency model”.
He added: “The service will be driven by senior practitioners who want to challenge the norm and explore new and innovative ways to market brands. From a media investment perspective, the use of Ikon’s proprietary trading software and the powerful ad exchange platforms will enable us to drive media costs down for our clients through guaranteed performance negotiations.”
The agency will look to hire unconventional staff such as engineers, technologists and data analysts to prepare for IPTV and next generation mobile, Hardwick said. Droga and Hardwick have worked together before at Omon’s Sydney office in the 1990s.
Droga, creative chairman and founder of Droga5, said:” We’ve been envisioning adding a media shop since we started the agency, and Ikon’s unique IP developed in the channel planning arena and their dynamic trading expertise represent the industry’s best in field. This marks anew level of maturity for Droga5as we continue to expand.
“Ikon has offices in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth as well as Auckland and Wellington in New Zealand.