Jonathan Obermeister is quitting as the Abbott Mead Vickers group
communications director to set up twin businesses specialising in
strategic consultancy and the development of intellectual property.
He is teaming up with Dr Colby Stuart, a US-born marketing strategist
who, for the last three years, has been international strategy director
of FHV BBDO, Holland’s largest agency.
They are setting up under the banner of the Change Agency. Obermeister,
37, will take charge of the strategic consultancy part of the business,
leaving Colby, 48, to concentrate on the intellectual property
The intention is that each business will feed off the other.
The AMV group will have no financial interest in the venture in order to
avoid possible conflict problems. But Obermeister and Stuart will
operate out of the London office of the Open Agency, the AMV
through-the-line subsidiary known until recently as McBains.
Some AMV clients are likely to put work into the Change Agency, whose
initial assignments will include market development for a foreign
brewer, a programme to link government education agencies with major
brands and a global initiative for the gas and oil industries.
The agency says it will not offer advertising services and is unlikely
to help clients select agencies. Instead, it plans to rely on a
high-quality offering, charging fees that will, in some cases, match
those of management consultants.
Obermeister, who has spent the whole of his 13-year agency career at
AMV, said his increasing involvement in problem-solving for the agency’s
clients had paved the way for the new venture. Since 1995 he has been
responsible for introducing greater synergy between the 15
communications companies comprising the AMV group.