John Owen, former chief strategy officer at Dare, and Nicky Russell, former chief operating officer of Anomaly, have joined Jim Hubbard at White Door Consulting as it aims to take advantage of the trend towards in-housing.
The revamped business will be known as WDC and look to help marketers improve the way they work, with a particular emphasis on in-housing. In its previous incarnation White Door Consulting focused on supporting agencies.
Owen said the consultancy will have a “three-pronged approach”, supporting marketers to build new departments, improve their current set-up and buy services from external agencies.
As a former CSO, Owen will also train marketers how to brief creatives, build a culture of effectiveness and develop strategic planning function.
Owen said: “We describe our proposition as ‘we deliver change’ – hence 'WDC'. This means we are committed to not just recommending solutions, but to working with our clients to tailor them, implement them and measure their impact. The participative element is key to motivation and therefore to success.”
After leaving Dare in 2015 Owen did a masters in behavioural science at the London School of Economics and Political Science and ran his own consultancy. In his early career Owen was a journalist at Campaign.
WDC has brought in procurement consultant Tina Fegent and consultant and former Bartle Bogle Hegarty director Steve Kershaw to run their pitches as associates of the company.
PepsiCo commissioned WDC to handle its creative reviews. So far, the consultancy has managed the pitches that led to VCCP picking up Walkers and Mother claiming Doritos. The Quaker Oats review, which WDC is also running, is on-going.
Owen, Russell and Hubbard initially worked together on a project for online retailing giant Asos earlier this year, helping to reorganise and revitalise its in-house creative department. Following the Asos project, the trio decided to formalise their relationship.
Hubbard said: “If we’re going to improve marketing and creative operations for our clients, we have to look not only at internal ways of working, but also at how best to work with external partners. Key to this is finding the right agencies in the first place – the ones which fit your operational as well as creative needs and which will work best with your teams.”
Prior to joining White Door Consulting Russell worked at Anomaly London for three years. She was previously head of operations at The Corner and a creative producer at project director at Grey London. Before she joined the advertising industry, Russell was director at Hayes Gate Football Club.
Russell said: “The smartest creative leaders I know put a huge value on their ops team. A big focus for us is to instil strong, disciplined ops in order to liberate creativity, so everyone can do their very best work.”