CHI and Naked set up media venture

Clemmow Hornby Inge and Naked Communications are joining forces to launch a communications and media planning company.

Naked Inside, which is to be a 50/50 joint venture between the two agencies, will provide CHI with access to Naked's Communications planning approach.

Initially, Naked Inside will be a standalone team operating from Naked's Clerkenwell office and sharing space in CHI's Wardour Street headquarters.

The agencies are about to start the process of hiring a director from outside to head the operation.

The creation of Naked Inside has been driven by CHI's desire to introduce media- neutral planning at the start of its process with clients and Naked's willingness to forge closer links with an agency it has already worked with on shared business and pitches.

As well as a director to spearhead the operation, Naked Inside is likely to be staffed by a mixture of new hirings and Naked staff. However, over time, CHI predicts that staff from both Naked and CHI would work as part of Naked Inside.

CHI, which has favoured Naked Inside over hiring a media partner to build an in-house media team, will push for the new outfit to work with new clients at the outset of the planning process and on current clients where the need arises. Naked Inside will work solely on CHI business.

John Harlow, a partner at Naked, said: "Many creative agencies recognise the need for communications planning as a skillset. Our argument is that we are against a return to the full-service agency because it would be a return to the days when creative people were the paymasters. We have developed an approach, like Intel Inside, where we can go into the heart of an agency but remain independent."

Johnny Hornby, a founding partner at CHI, said: "It's important to note that we're not trying to destabilise good relationships with media agencies but we think that the process of developing communications for brands is better when people are in the room together rather than separated off.

We also believe that this process should be communications planning rather than media planning. We want to work in a much wider arena than TV, press and posters."


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