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The following article appeared on Adweek on Monday, October 15th, 2018. Read the original here.

The NFL Places Its Advertising Business in Review After 10 Years With Grey

Wieden + Kennedy, 72andSunny are reportedly competing for the account

By Patrick Coffee | October 15, 2018

The WPP agency has created a number of popular campaigns since winning the business in 2009. Image Source: Getty Images

The WPP agency has created a number of popular campaigns since winning the business in 2009. Image Source: Getty Images

The National Football League is in the market for a new agency partner.

Just over a month after naming former Activision Blizzard top marketer and 2013 Adweek Brand Genius Tim Ellis as its new CMO, the NFL issued both an RFI and an RFP regarding its overall marketing business, according to several parties with direct knowledge of the matter.

Those sources told Adweek that the NFL reached out to an original group consisting of 12 agencies, which has since been cut to seven as part of a larger review managed by consultancy Roth Ryan Hayes.

The group reportedly included incumbent Grey as well as competitors such as Wieden + Kennedy, 72andSunny and Droga5. Several parties said Droga5 declined to participate due to a conflict with client ESPN, while the other three shops remain in the competition. The review’s other participants are unclear at this time.

Spokespeople for all four agencies declined to comment, and Grey referred to the client. The NFL’s public relations team has not yet responded to requests for comment, nor has Roth Ryan Hayes.

According to one party close to the account, Ellis launched the exploratory phase of the review almost immediately upon beginning his new job in mid-September. Another source told Adweek the RFP concerns marketing both the NFL brand and NFL Media, the league-owned entity that includes NFL Network,, NFLFilms, NFL Mobile, NFL Now and NFLRedZone.

Like every other media brand, the NFL has in recent years been forced to seek out viewership beyond traditional broadcast television.

Grey won all branding duties for the league (including media and apparel) in 2009, beating out incumbent BBDO as well as Ogilvy and TBWA\Chiat\Day. The WPP shop had already worked on some NFL-related projects the previous year.

Over the next nine years, Grey New York created a series of memorable campaigns promoting the NFL including, most prominently, the Super Bowl babies spots and last year’s Big Game ad in which Eli Manning and Odell Beckham Jr. paid tribute to the film Dirty Dancing.

Portions of the business later went elsewhere. For example, in 2016 R/GA worked on some projects concerning NFL Media and the return of Thursday Night Football, but the agency reportedly no longer works with the league.

Wieden is a particularly interesting choice to pitch the account, given the attention paid to its recent Nike campaign starring Colin Kaepernick and that brand’s status as the official apparel provider of the NFL.

Despite the controversy sparked by the former 49ers quarterback, the league’s unwanted but unavoidable collision with the world of politics and a two-year slump in overall viewership, ratings for the 2018 season are up by 2 percent, according to Nielsen. Recent reports theorize that higher scoring, more competitive games, in addition to the end of a federal ban on sports gambling, may have contributed to this change.

The league itself also stated in an internal report that viewership of NFL games on digital platforms has increased 65 percent in the last year alone.

According to Kantar Media, the NFL spent approximately $68 million on paid media promoting the league and the NFL Network in 2017.


The following article appeared on AdAge on Monday, July 16th, 2018. Read the original here.

Activision Keeps 72andSunny After Review

By Megan Graham and E.J. Schultz.

Gaming giant Activision, publisher of the popular "Call of Duty" franchise, is sticking with 72andSunny after conducting an agency review. The MDC Partners shop, which has been Activision's agency of record since 2012, fended off Wieden & Kennedy and Venables Bell & Partners.

"We are excited to continue our positive and productive relationship with Activision. We know we can do great things together and look forward to taking this franchise to new heights," said Glenn Cole, creative co-chair and founder of 72andSunny.

A screen from 'Activision: Call of Duty: Black Ops 3.'

A screen from 'Activision: Call of Duty: Black Ops 3.'

"Call of Duty," the first-person shooter game, is scheduled to release its next version, called "Black Ops 4," on Oct. 12. Activision's other titles include "Destiny" and "Skylanders."

72andSunny's recent work for Activision include trailers last year for "Destiny 2" that portrayed the destruction of cherished items and activities, like vanilla lattes and the Grand Canyon. The films were localized to portray favored items in cities such as Munich, Paris, London, Los Angeles.

Activision parent company Activision Blizzard spent $87 million on measured media last year, according to Kantar Media. Activision Blizzard reported $1.97 billion in net revenues in the quarter ending March 31, up from $1.73 billion in the same quarter a year ago.




The following article appeared on AdAge on Thursday, March 22nd, 2018. Read the original here.

BMW Hires Goodby as Lead Creative Agency in U.S.

By Lindsay Stein and E.J. Schultz.

CES 2017 – BMW 5 series Connected Mobility Credit: BMW

CES 2017 – BMW 5 series Connected Mobility Credit: BMW

BMW has appointed Goodby, Silverstein & Partners as its lead creative agency in the U.S., following a competitive review.

The finalists in the pitch, which was handled by Roth Ryan Hayes, included Goodby, Droga5, Wieden & Kennedy, Anomaly and Hill Holliday. Representatives from Goodby, Roth Ryan Hayes and BMW were not immediately available for comment.

The incumbent agency was MDC Partners-owned KBS. The shop over the last year had steadily lost other pieces of the brand's U.S. business. In December 2016, BMW handed web development to Omnicom's Critical Mass after a review that was also run by Roth Ryan Hayes. Critical Mass' relationship with BMW was not affected by the recent creative review. The creative review began in late October.

BMW originally considered 25 agencies before paring its list to five finalists, the brand said in a statement Thursday. "Goodby Silverstein & Partners are well known for their outstanding creative capabilities as well as their ability to reach millions of consumers with the feeling of speaking only to you," stated Trudy Hardy, VP of marketing for BMW of North America. "They are a smart team who has consistently developed impactful work on behalf of their clients. We are looking forward to a strong partnership with them in the years to come."

"BMW is one of the most classic brands on the entire planet. As a young designer growing up wanting to be in advertising, I was always in awe of the line 'The Ultimate Driving Machine.' To be able to be part of that legacy and bring it into the next generation to buy the car is an honor. And we don't take that lightly. Besides, I love driving fast cars," Rich Silverstein, co-founder and co-chairman of Goodby Silverstein & Partners, said in BMW's statement.

According to someone with knowledge of the matter, the retainer on the BMW creative business is about $12 million, but with projects throughout the year, it could be about $20 million. When Critical Mass was hired, people familiar with the matter told Ad Age that the web development account was between $10 to $15 million.

Goodby is no stranger to the automotive category. The shop previously worked on General Motors' Chevrolet and now-defunct Saturn brand and of late has done regular work for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, including a Super Bowl ad for the Ram brand last month. Goodby worked on Porsche in the 1990s and Hyundai and Saturn in the early 2000s. Goodby would seemingly have to stop working for FCA now that it is BMW's lead shop.

The BMW win continues a recent momentum swing for Goodby, which was named Ad Age's 2018 Comeback Agency of the Year, after winning notable accounts including Liberty Mutual and Pepsi. Margaret Johnson, the Omnicom agency's first chief creative officer and first female partner, was named Ad Age's 2018 Executive of the Year.

Goodby will be taking on BMW as dealers lobby for more marketing support while the luxury brand rolls out new vehicles in the coming months. "We feel we need more marketing money for these launches, but we're going to work with BMW," Patrick Womack, chairman of the BMW National Dealer Forum, told Automotive News. "The message was sent when we were in Munich by a few other dealers that we would like to see some more emphasis put on marketing and the budget from Munich."

A lot is at stake as BMW tries to overcome a sales slump. U.S. sales fell 2.4 percent last year, according to Auto News.

RRH Sits Down with Paul Papas, Global Leader of Digital Strategy & iX, IBM

Chris Hayes was lucky enough to sit down with Paul Papas, the Global Leader of IBM's Digital Strategy & Interactive Experience (iX) practice, to ask him some tough questions about where digital technology is headed and what part IBM has to play in it. This is the second installment in Roth Ryan Hayes's recently-launched, regular interview series, where we tap into to some of the greatest minds in digital to find out what's in store for the future. Read the full interview posted May 30th, 2017 here.

Hayes: Nearly 20 years ago, John Doerr talked about the notion of moving from the internet to the “Evernet,” which would be “always-on” like electricity. While I’m impressed with breakthroughs we’ve made in technology, I’ve not been impressed with the pace, strength, reliability, and accessibility of mobile and WiFi connections. Do you believe that the promise of the Evernet will be realized in the near future?

Papas: June 29, 2007 was the date the first generation iPhone was launched. Today, just 10 years later, there are over 2.5B smartphone users and 3B internet users. The technology is finally enabling everyone to do what they have always wanted to do, namely, to always be connected to the people and things they love.

And what we are seeing is not limited to phones and computers, but in homes and vehicles. Voice assistants are growing at a rapid rate, creating a way for individuals to do what they previously had to be in front of a screen to accomplish.  

And cars are no longer just a way to get from point A to point B; they are computers on wheels. We announced a partnership with GM where we’re creating the world’s first cognitive mobility platform. This will provide a personalized in-vehicle experience that will connect people to everything they love and help make daily tasks more convenient. For example, drivers can quickly locate gas stations, recommend the best fuel and lubricant product for their vehicle, and authorize payment all without leaving the vehicle. Consumers can even pay for a car wash or, when away from their car, get notified when they’re low on fuel.

So, even though we don’t yet have “always-on” everywhere, there are more and more objects being connected to the Internet daily. Even in NYC, many subway stations now have wifi. We’re not at the point of electricity yet, but we’ll get there.

Hayes: On a similar note, AI like Watson is becoming increasingly pervasive in our lives. Although still at a very early stage in its potential, where do you see AI’s placement in society in 5 years time? 10 years? 

Papas: The speed of AI advancement is simply amazing. As an example: 1B consumers will use Watson by 2018. Already today, Watson is being used by a broad ecosystem including businesses, developers and universities to fight cancer, improve classroom learning, enhance oil and gas exploration, better manage financial investments and much more. 

Even with this incredible rate of advancement, in many ways, AI and cognitive computing are still in their infancy. Collaborating with leading minds around the world is the key to fulfilling the true potential. 

While I’ve learned not to try to predict anything 5 years out, it’s easy to imagine a world where every business process and customer experience is transformed and delivered with the power of Cognitive systems.

Several more questions and answers can be found at the original article here.

Our Exclusive Interview with Aaron Shapiro, CEO of Huge

The first in a series of in-depth interviews Roth Ryan Hayes is doing with leaders in digital and marketing. Chris Hayes sits down with Aaron Shapiro, the CEO of Huge, to talk about what's happening now with digital technology, where it's going, and the implication for users and marketers. Read the full interview posted May 3rd, 2017 here.

Hayes: What would you consider to be the greatest threats to staying relevant in the market for an already established business? What is most important for a startup to gain traction in that same market?

Shapiro: The way I think about this is that for any given market there’s a race. On one side you have established businesses that have the market power and resources. On the other you have startups and smaller companies that have no market share but have the necessary talent and nimbleness. The battle hinges on what happens first: does the small company build enough momentum and market share to become unstoppable, or does the big company change fast enough to stomp out the threat?  

This dynamic is playing out in every industry. If you take Huge as an example in the agency marketplace, we exist today because 10 years ago the traditional creative agencies which dominated the industry couldn’t do digital. Clients took a risk on startups like Huge and we’re now one of the fastest-growing agencies and are shaping what the industry looks like today.

Conversely, look at the wealth management space. Startups like Wealthfund and Betterment sent a shock through the industry with robo-advisor products. But companies like Charles Schwab and Vanguard are adapting fast enough to drive growth and stay on top in the industry.

Hayes: Where do you see virtual reality going forward? Will it be a revolutionary shift, or a slight change? What should brands be doing about it right now?

Shapiro: There’s obviously a ton of hype around VR right now that makes sense when you put on a headset and experience how amazing it can be. Two of the major challenges facing manufacturers and content creators are the small install base and the fact that putting on a headset is a fundamentally different way to consume content than most people are used to. Today we are used to hanging out on the couch at home to watch TV, so putting on a headset for a solo experience is very different experience, although more and more content is being watched on phones and tablets, so that may be less of a barrier for people over time.

There are some clear applications for VR in gaming and in industrial or workplace environments that make sense for specific companies to pursue right now, but for most brands the primary reason to do VR is the hype associated with it and the ancillary press you get from launching something cool. The truth is the number of people you can reach with a VR experience at the moment is very small, so it makes the most sense for reaching influencers with a very specific experience that communicates something more effectively.

It’s actually augmented reality that has the most immediate potential for most brands. We saw how something like Pokemon Go could become very popular overnight by layering digital information over the real world. For the most part, AR works on devices that people already carry around every day and can offer real utility for both consumers and businesses in all sorts of environments.

One final thing I will say about VR is that virtual reality sickness and the headaches that some people get after using these devices appears to be a real problem that affects a potentially significant part of the general population. This is similar to motion sickness or the simulator sickness that affects as many as 40% of military pilots. When most people try on VR headsets, they aren’t using them for more than a couple minutes, so it’s not impossible that the physiological barriers many people experience could hamper widespread adoption in the coming years.

More questions and answers can be found at the original article here.



The following article appeared on AdAge on Tuesday, April 3, 2017. Read the original here.

Party City Brings on Hill Holliday as Lead Agency

By Lindsay SteinAdrianne Pasquarelli

Party City scares up sales during Halloween. Credit: Party City

Party City scares up sales during Halloween. Credit: Party City

Party City just hired Hill Holliday as its lead agency for creative, digital and media duties following a competitive review, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

Zimmerman, which has worked on the Party City business since 2009, competed in the recent pitch. Consulting firm Roth Ryan Hayes supported the review.

"While we are sorry to part ways with Party City, we understand that new management often triggers new agencies," Zimmerman CEO Michael Goldberg said in an emailed statement.

"That said," he added, "we will always root for them and take pride knowing we helped them double their revenue, more than doubled their profits, increased unaided awareness from 26% to 86% and drove positive comp sales every year of our relationship -- something unheard of in today's retail marketplace."

Representatives from Party City were not immediately available for comment. Hill Holliday representatives declined to comment.

Hill Holliday, one of Ad Age's 2017 Agencies to Watch, has had a busy year so far. The Boston-based shop promoted Chief Growth Officer Chris Wallrapp to president in January, a role that's been vacant since Karen Kaplan became CEO in 2013. And earlier this month, the agency worked with Tempur-Pedic on a new national advertising campaign, "This Sleep Is Power," that focuses on about the deeper benefits of a good night's sleep and how a restful sleep on a Tempur-Pedic mattress can help fuel achievements.

In its first work for Party City eight years ago, Zimmerman began using Michael Jackson's "Thriller" to drum up Halloween sales -- the use of the popular hit, whether with laughing devil babies or dancing zombies, became a tradition repeated every October.

Though it has online competition, Party City has been able to hold its own in attracting shoppers to its 934 brick-and-mortar locations, CEO Jim Harrison said on a recent conference call. The brand grew its ecommerce business in 2016 at double the pace of 2015, he noted.

"While the topic of ecommerce encroachment is a major focus in many industries, the majority of retail shopping in our categories still happens within the four walls of our stores," Mr. Harrison said on the call. He also noted that since nearly half of Party City products are made in the U.S., the chain will not be subjected to the same pressures as competitors of a potential border tax.

Still, the company, which was founded in 1986, did suffer a sales hit with the delay of Halloween from the weekend to a Monday last year, and the loss trickled into the fourth quarter. Earlier this month, Party City reported that same-store sales were down 3.5% in the fourth quarter and revenue fell 4.1% to $749 million, compared with the year-earlier period.

Party City has also had a recent shakeup with some of its leadership. In November, the chain hired Ryan Vero, formerly of Sears, as exec VP of parent company Party City Holdco Inc. and president of the retail group. It also expanded responsibilities for PCHI President Gregg Melnick to include global strategy with relation to IT and supply and logistics.

The new relationship with Hill Holliday could help the retailer expand into new sources of revenue. Party City, which spent $38.3 million on measured media in the U.S. last year, according to Kantar Media, is exploring new uses for its existing products, which could range from an increased presence in sporting events with souvenir cups to balloons in movie theaters.

"We have the ability now to make party goods, but a lot of what you make are really just products that have alternative uses, not just for parties," said Mr. Harrison on the conference call, noting that, at $60 million, the category is a growing piece of business.



The following article appeared on AdAge on Thursday, March 9, 2017. Read the original here.

Activision Blizzard Nears Final Round of Global Media Review

By Lindsay Stein.


Gaming giant Activision Blizzard is heading toward the final round of its global media review, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

Omnicom's OMD currently handles the U.S. media, while WPP's MEC works on the company's international media business. Representatives from the two incumbents were not immediately available for comment.

Consultancy Roth Ryan Hayes is supporting the media review, according to people with knowledge of the matter. The same people said four agencies are in the finals for the review and one shop is expected to be selected for the entire global account.

Representatives from Activision Blizzard and Roth Ryan Hayes declined to comment.

In 2011, Activision shifted its North American media business, which was $150 million at the time, from MEC to OMD without a review, Ad Age previously reported. MEC continued to handle the business in Europe and Asia Pacific.

Activision Blizzard, which saw global revenue of $6.1 billion last year, spent about $133 million on measured media in the U.S. in 2015, according to the Ad Age Datacenter

Last fall, Activision appointed 21st Century Fox executive Pete Vlastelica CEO of its Major League Gaming online network as part of the company's move to take over the emerging professional video-game play business. Activision held a "Call of Duty" World Championship in Los Angeles in September and delivered an $800,000 prize to the first place team EnvyUs.





The following article appeared on MediaPost on Tuesday, January 31st, 2017. Read the original here.

Agencies Will See Less Red When Pitching Clients: Redbooks, RRH Offer Free, Self-Serve Listings

By Joe Mandese, editor in chief


In what they claim is an industry first, ad agencies will not be charged to list their vital information in a database used by a major search consultant managing reviews for marketers looking for new agencies, as part of a new deal being announced today by industry database publisher Redbooks and search consultant Roth Ryan Hayes (RRH).

The proprietary deal, which is effective immediately, gives RRH access to Redbooks' database of more than 14,000 agencies.

To ensure their data is accurate and current, Redbooks is providing a real-time link for agencies to update their information on a self-serve basis at

Redbooks said “creating and maintaining agency listings is free to the agency, and will include questions whose responses are only viewable by Roth Ryan Hayes consultants,” and asserted the model is counter to an industry trend of “charging fees for agency listings.”

RRH CEO Matt Ryan touted the deal as “game-changing.” The management consultancy handles agency reviews for brands such as BMW, New York Life and Citibank. 



The following article appeared on AdWeek's AgencySpy on Monday, December 19th, 2016. Read the original here.

Critical Mass Wins BMW Web Design Review; KBS Will Retain Lead Agency Status

By Patrick Coffee


BMW has picked Omnicom’s Critical Mass as its lead agency for U.S. web design and development after a procurement-led review.

This means that MDC Partners’ KBS, which has been lead agency for the luxury car giant since beating out Grey, The Martin Agency and others in a 2011 review, will no longer work on that portion of the business. KBS has managed BMW’s web presence for several years and defended its account in the review.

“The recent RFP covers our web business at,” wrote a company spokesperson today. “KBS will continue as BMW of North America’s lead agency and creative partner – and as our agency of record for all above the line marketing efforts. As such, they will also work closely with Critical Mass and our other agency partners.”

BMW has held several agency reviews this year both domestically and internationally. UM retained media agency of record status in a review that ended earlier this year, and various parties confirmed today that Laundry Service won social media work in a review earlier this year. AdAge’s writeup also notes that Gale Partners, another MDC shop, also won CRM duties

KBS global CEO Guy Hayward provided the following statement:

“We are incredibly proud of the 10-years of work we’ve done on the BMW website, which has delivered increased leads every year and dozens of creative awards. We are excited for the next chapter as BMW’s creative AOR, a role in which we will continue to innovate and set the bar in the category.”

KBS declined to elaborate beyond that quote and Critical Mass has not responded to emails regarding the win.

AdAge’s coverage of the news includes a section implying that KBS may soon lose the entire account. We haven’t heard that recently, though one source stated that the agency had been handling a smaller share of the client’s social media work prior to the Laundry Service review.

The relationship between the parties has been changing, however. Last month KBS did part with two ECDs, one of whom effectively ran digital for BMW, though a spokesperson said that move was unrelated to the business. The client also brought the BMW Films team back together for October’s short starring Clive Owen, and KBS did not work on that project.

Screen Shot 2016-12-20 at 3.48.00 PM.png



The following article appeared on AdAge on Monday, December 19th, 2016. Read the original here.

KBS Has Lost Significant BMW Business

By Lindsay Stein, E.J. Schultz


BMW has made several agency changes in the U.S., bringing new shops aboard to handle duties once performed by MDC Partners' KBS. KBS remains the luxury automaker's lead creative agency, but the shop has recently lost significant assignments including social media, CRM and web development responsibilities.

The latest shift came late last week when BMW tapped Omnicom's Critical Mass to handle web development following a competitive review. The finalists in the review included KBS, Huge, IBM and Meredith Xcelerated Marketing, according to people familiar with the review. Trudy Hardy, VP-marketing at BMW North America, confirmed the agency change on Monday.

The scope includes handling all of the needs of as well as supporting dealer web sites, she said. She declined to reveal budget figures. But people familiar with the matter said the web development account is worth between $10 to $15 million. Representatives from Critical Mass were not immediately available for comment.

"The website is still our virtual showroom to the world," Ms. Hardy said. "We get close to 4 million visitors every single month. It's important." Part of the assignment includes evaluating the role that third-party sites are playing in the car-buying process, she said. BMW wants to examine best practices from outside the auto industry "just to make sure that we are keeping up with the needs of consumers because there are more real-time shoppers now," Ms. Hardy said. Other priorities include ensuring the site is mobile-friendly.

Roth Ryan Hayes supported the review. The consulting shop, formerly Roth Associates, was acquired and renamed by Matt Ryan, former New York co-chairman and global brands president of Havas Worldwide, and Chris Hayes, most recently global chief marketing officer of Code and Theory, in April. Representatives declined to comment about the BMW review. KBS did not immediately provide comment.

The agency switch comes after KBS recently lost BMW's social media business to Laundry Service and the CRM account to MDC's Gale Partners. For CRM, Ms. Hardy said the auto marketer sought specialized data analytics capabilities for which she said Gale had an "outstanding competency."

KBS emphasized its continuing role as creative agency of record.

"We are incredibly proud of the 10-years of work we've done on the BMW website, which has delivered increased leads every year and dozens of creative awards," KBS global CEO Guy Hayward said in a statement. "We are excited for the next chapter as BMW's creative AOR, a role in which we will continue to innovate and set the bar in the category."

The changes suggest, however, that KBS is at risk of losing the creative account, which includes digital creative. People familiar with the matter have suggested that the creative account could go into review next spring or summer. But Ms. Hardy said that "we have not made a decision to put our above-the-line creative out to bid at this point."

"KBS is a fabulous partner," she added. "We have a wonderful relationship with them." She noted that the agency's workload also includes global projects via its service on a global brand council.

BMW spent $314.1 million on U.S. advertising in 2015, according to the Ad Age Datacenter.

In the third quarter of the year, MDC, which also owns shops including 72andSunny and Anomaly, reported a net loss of $33.5 million, compared to $8.6 million in the same period in 2015. The holding company has hired LionTree to review its financial and capital structure strategy and is in the process of reviewing options, including a potential sale.



The following article appeared on AdAge on Thursday, April 28th, 2016. Read the original here.

Former Havas, Code and Theory Leaders Buy Search Consultancy Roth Associates

Newly Named Roth Ryan Hayes Will Include Staffers With Recent Agency, Marketer Expertise

By Lindsay Stein


Matt Ryan, former New York co-chairman and global brands president of Havas Worldwide, and Chris Hayes, most recently global chief marketing officer of Code and Theory, have teamed up to take acquire search consultancy Roth Associates.

Mr. Ryan, now CEO of the newly named consultancy, Roth Ryan Hayes, said he and Mr. Hayes took a controlling interest in Roth and "basically control the entire company." Specific financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Dick Roth, who founded the eponymous shop in 1988, has taken on the title of chairman and will work closely with Mr. Ryan and Mr. Hayes. The Observatory International, which Roth Associates merged with a few years ago, will now operate as its own company, but could strategically align with Roth Ryan Hayes on certain projects.

Roth Ryan Hayes, which currently has six full-time staffers and a few consultants, is looking to differentiate itself from other consulting firms by staffing up with experienced executives who have recently worked on the agency or marketer sides of the business.

Mr. Ryan said two important trends are happening in the industry right now: marketers cleaning up their rosters to have fewer agencies, and brands trying to identify the right mix of shops they need to be successful.

"We want to focus on helping marketers build the most effective and efficient team for their brand or business, and whether that's one agency in a consolidation or a team of agencies, we've seen that the mandate is pretty clear for us to come in to help them find the best resource and solution," said Mr. Ryan.

In the near future, Roth Ryan Hayes is looking to expand its footprint beyond New York and Greenwich, Conn. with an office on the West Coast. The firm currently has one staffer based in Los Angeles. Mr. Ryan said the consultancy is also looking to announce several new hires in the next month or two, with the goal of bringing on people with digital and tech skills and specific category expertise, such as CPG.

Mr. Ryan and Mr. Hayes met earlier in their careers at Havas (then Euro RSCG). At the time, Mr. Ryan was global CMO- global brands president, and Mr. Hayes was marketing director for Europe.

Most recently, Mr. Ryan launched his own firm, Acadia Consulting Group, last May after serving as global CEO of WPP's United Network since the fall of 2013.

Mr. Hayes, who stepped down from his global CMO role at Code and Theory in January, also previously served as the marketing chief for Critical Mass, Huge and Y&R. He said one of the reasons he decided to go through with the deal was because he'd always been impressed with Mr. Roth's process, but felt there was an increased need to guide marketers around complicated topics like programmatic, mobile and e-commerce.

"We wish [Mr. Hayes] all the best in his new endeavor," said Code and Theory Co-Founder Dan Gardner.

Matt Ryan and Chris Hayes Join Roth, Firm Renamed Roth Ryan Hayes

Ryan and Hayes bring C-Suite and digital expertise to pioneering agency search consultancy.

Matt Ryan, the former President of Global Brands at Havas Worldwide and Global CEO of WPP’s United Network, and Chris Hayes, the former Global CMO at HUGE, Y&R, and Code and Theory, joined the agency search consultancy founded by Dick Roth as Roth Associates in 1988. The firm will now be known as Roth Ryan Hayes.

“In Matt Ryan and Chris Hayes, I’ve found two partners who understand the industry from all angles,” says Roth, who spearheaded agency searches for New York Life, Boeing, Infiniti, Honda, Bayer, and Citibank. “With their respective networks and areas of expertise, we’ll be able to respond to the surging demand for strong digital and tech partners.” Merging Chris Hayes and Matt Ryan’s expertise with Dick Roth’s best practices in agency search, selection, and compensation will position the firm for the future, and provide holistic counsel focused on the intersection of digital innovation and business strategy.

Together, Ryan and Hayes have driven business-minded marketing strategies for clients in the insurance, government, financial, health and wellness, consumer-packaged goods, automotive, transportation, and energy sectors. Ryan forged a strong reputation as an advisor to companies such as Jaguar, Charles Schwab, Volvo, and Merck as they seek to align brand strategy, creative, and operations globally. Hayes is an expert in digital initiatives and business strategies that support growth goals, having driven business transformations on behalf of TED, MassMutual, New York Life, SAP, Samsung, and TD Ameritrade. Their combined experience on the agency side will offer clients a practitioner's perspective on identifying the right agency for a client’s specific set of challenges.

Roth Ryan Hayes has offices in Greenwich, CT, New York, NY and Los Angeles, CA.