Mother launches agency led by 'Epic strut' creative

Former Wieden suit Paulo Salomao, Grey strategist Sarah Oberman and VMLY&R operations director Metz Bryan-Fasano join creative leader Kyle Harman-Turner.

Other: (from left) Harman-Turner, Oberman, Bryan-Fasano and Salomao
Other: (from left) Harman-Turner, Oberman, Bryan-Fasano and Salomao

Mother has set up an additional agency, Other, to provide a new independent creative offering to clients.

Business leader Paulo Salomao, strategy leader Sarah Oberman and production specialist Metz Bryan-Fasano will run the agency alongside the long-time Mother creative Kyle Harman-Turner, who will be Other’s creative leader.

Before its official launch, Other beat three agencies – understood to include Joint and VCCP – to win the creative account for Bloom & Wild. Other’s work for the mail-order flower company is imminent. Other opens its doors with two other clients: home appliance maker Grundig and Jaguar Land Rover-owned rental company The Out.

The Other agency leaders will report to Mother global chief executive Michael Wall and founder Robert Saville. The agency will be based on the third floor of the Mother office in the Biscuit Building in Shoreditch with an initial staff of 14.

Other will lean on the broader Mother team and work with a network of freelancers to meet briefs. It will look to bring these people together early in the creative process so they can develop collaborative solutions that answer clients' needs in innovative ways.

Salomao said: “Our relationship with Mother is super strong. We are there to talk and work with Mother if we feel that it’s right for the solution. I don’t want it to feel like it’s a fixed house. On Bloom & Wild we assembled a team that was right for that – we had florists in the group. We’ve got our permanent staff and then we’ve got our [Mother] family but then we are going to put a lot of emphasis on our network.” 

A Mother veteran of 14 years standing, Harman-Turner spent three years at the independent agency’s New York office from 2010 before returning to London. His work for the shop includes “Epic strut” for Moneysupermarket.com, which was named Campaign’s campaign of the year in 2015 and was pastiched on the front cover of The Sun.

Harman-Turner said: “The big networks [holding companies] are trying to change. We're not trying to change, we're doing something the way it should be done from the start. When I look at Bloom & Wild and The Out as our starting clients, that energy and that hustle between us to make things happen, you can see that it's already working.

“It's a natural evolution of what I started doing in the last few years anyway and I think Bob [Saville] has seen that. We have gathered a crew. Everyone's like-minded, everyone's got the same North Star – so that's where the magic comes from.” 

Before starting at Mother in June 2020, Oberman was strategy director at Grey London on brands including Marks & Spencer. When she first arrived from New Zealand in 2015, Oberman worked at TBWA\London for a year on Airbnb and Lidl.

Bryan-Fasano, who will be lead maker, joins Other from WPP-owned VMLY&R London, where she was operations director, a role she began in February. Before that, she spent almost three years as head of project management at BBC Creative. She has also worked at J Walter Thompson (now Wunderman Thompson) and Adam & Eve/DDB.

Bryan-Fasano said: “So many important conversations are coming up, especially during the pandemic. We're talking about mental health and we're talking about diversity. We're talking about pricing models in the economy. Being in a position to take all this in, and work as a group, to tackle these in a really practical way is really exciting.”

Oberman continued: “I think that's the best thing about being born in 2020. We can bake our business model by leaning into those challenges, versus trying to go back and retrofit solutions to an old model. We have a fresh start, and we're all hungry.”

Salomao joined Mother last September after almost 10 years at Wieden & Kennedy London, latterly as head of account management. At Wieden & Kennedy, he managed accounts including Honda and Three. He started his career at TBWA\London.

Saville said: “What kept me and my partners [Stef Calcraft, Matthew Clark, Andy Medd and Mark Waites] going when we started Mother 24 years ago was a simple philosophy about our culture, and a belief that great creativity lives best in an independent environment.

“Other has a great team with shared values who all bring their own unique way of doing things. Because right now brands, businesses and organisations need great independent creative minds applied to the challenges that face us. There will always be Mother and now there is Other.”