Craig Mawdsley and Bridget Angear are targeting direct client relationships through a new strategy consultancy following their departure from Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO.
Mawdsley told Campaign: "Increasingly clients are looking for an option alongside conventional agency structures. They are looking for direct access to the level of strategy talent that in our best moments we can deliver.”
The duo, who Campaign last week revealed are leaving the Omnicom agency after eight years as joint chief strategy officers, are setting up a partnership called CraigandBridget. It will offer expertise on all areas of branding and creative strategy.
AMV will be a key customer, so the pair will not be available to work for any competitors of the accounts they have worked on recently. However, CraigandBridget will be pitching for business from "a range of different organisations".
Mawdsley, who has been at AMV for almost 17 years (around three fewer than Angear), said their departure would "let new talent rise within AMV".
AMV is currently dealing with a creative review called by Asda, its supermarket client since 2018. This follows the agency losing major clients in 2020 including Walkers (an account it had held for 22 years), Quaker Oats (which was won in 2003) and its remaining brief for BT (the advertising part of which the agency lost the previous year).
To replace Mawdsley and Angear it promoted joint head of strategy and head of business strategy Tom White to chief strategy officer and his fellow joint head of strategy David Edwards to chief customer officer.
Mawdsley told Campaign: "We've always been very conscious of the need to make space for people coming up. This really felt like a time when that generation that had been, running elements of the department were now able take on bigger roles."
The duo have been named Campaign’s top strategists six times in the past decade and led the AMV department to win a number of strategy awards including the IPA, APG and Cannes Lions.
Angear is keen to reimagine how people see strategy, bringing it into the real world instead of the "dry dusty thing on a shelf". To help realise this goal the duo have co-authored two books scheduled for release later this year.
"We want to make things as much as 'make strategy'. I think they're linked, we're excited by the act of creating things and making things," she said.
"I think because we've worked in the business so long, it would be nice if there were things we could do that contributed back to it.”
Currently there are no plans to get an office. In the future the duo hope to resume their standard working practice of working from clients' offices, coffee shops or wherever is the most convenient.