MDC Partners is looking to make a splash and disrupt the rather tired holding company model by hiring industry veteran Julia Hammond to lead a new division dedicated to serving the network’s large integrated accounts.
Hammond, who previously led business development and marketing at Deloitte Digital’s Heat, will help key clients build custom integrated solutions that bring together creativity, data, technology and communications services.
The new division and role follows on the networks that MDC developed within its company last year, such as: Anomaly Alliance, Constellation, the Doner Partner Network, Forsman & Bodenfors, Allison+Partners and Gale/Assembly Media.
"MDC is taking aim at an outdated, bloated and painfully slow legacy holding company model," said Mark Penn, CEO and chairman of MDC Partners.
He added: "Now we’re in a position to not just take on the biggest players, but outperform the challengers. MDC’s strength has always been in its creativity and innovation. This unit, with a client-centric approach, will design and deliver on solutions for even the most scaled of global clients at a network level."
Over the next three months, Hammond will structure the unit and get it ready to go to market, including figuring out details around its staff and name.
In addition to building off of its network developments, Penn said the holding company has "seen critical transformations being accelerated by today’s global crisis – more suddenly and painfully than anyone would have predicted, but irreversibly."
"The old model is being disrupted, and a major factor in our ability to manage through this is the plan we had already implemented to reshape the company for the future," he said.
According to Penn, MDC Partners had "the highest organic growth of all the major advertising holding companies in Q1, and 110 percent year-over-year growth in adjusted EBITDA," despite the hard hits from the COVID-19 pandemic mid-March.
Prior to Heat, Hammond was executive director of North America at VMLY&R, where she managed client engagement and new business. She served as the WPP global team leader for Tyson Foods at that time, as well.
Hammond also previously worked at Leo Burnett, Fallon and FCB, where she worked on brands like MillerCoors, Starbucks, Kraft-Heinz, Nestle, Nissan, Unilever and more.