Chairman Rob Schwartz details plans for TBWA New York Group

Schwartz was elevated to chair of the group, which includes TBWA\Chiat\Day New York, 180NY and Lucky Generals New York, in April.

TBWA New York Group is embracing the “Goldilocks theory.”

The network, formed in April, consists of three agencies within the wider TBWA network based in New York — TBWA\Chiat\Day New York, 180NY and Lucky Generals New York.

The new structure aims to give clients access to a range of capabilities and teams across all three agencies to solve their business problems.

“If you're a big client and you have some challenges but are not sure which agencies are right, you can come in the group door,” said Rob Schwartz, chairman of TBWA New York Group.

Each agency offers a different flavor and approach to clients. TBWA\Chiat\Day offers “iconic” and “edge-to-edge” creative services, from upstream strategy to the customer journey downstream, Schwartz said.

Lucky Generals, which originates in London, is the place to go for a big branding moment, like a Super Bowl spot or a major holiday campaign, whether that’s an AOR relationship or a project assignment. The agency, which also works with small and midsize firms as well as challenger brands, is famous for its Super Bowl spots for Amazon.

And 180NY, part of the 180 Global network with flagship offices in Los Angeles and Amsterdam, is for clients trying to figure out how to approach new media platforms. It’s the team behind the Slim Jim’s social media account, for example, and is responsible for growing the brand from 5,000 Instagram followers to a “lifestyle brand” with 1.2 million followers on the platform.

With the new structure, TBWA New York Group is trying to be more flexible for clients as they re-enter the market after the COVID-19 recession. Marketers can have a direct relationship with one of the individual agencies or work across all three, depending on the business problem.

The new set-up also allows the agencies to share resources and back-office functions like HR as well as Backslash, TBWA’s cultural intelligence unit.

“We have three really compelling offerings,” Schwartz said. “When you look at what's happened to TBWA\Chiat\Day NY over the last six years, we've built something powerful. There are lessons we can bring to other agencies.”

As the group’s first chair, Schwartz, a 20-plus year vet of TBWA NY and its former CEO since 2015, wants to remain an active member of the team, both by working with agency leadership to develop positioning and by identifying opportunities across the group for clients.

But despite the closer alignment, the agencies will maintain their autonomy with their own leadership teams, operating in separate offices in New York City once it's safe for employees to return to work.

“We're trying to be very precise in where and how we work together,” Schwartz explained. “Philosophically, these are three agencies that can come in on an offering, and they are distinct agencies. It reinforces that if you are going to the individual agencies, you are going to get their experience — not some different shade of vanilla.”


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