Why This Dentsu Agency Is Doubling Down on Its Boston Office in 2017

With three key new hires and a focus on storytelling

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Isobar, an agency in the Dentsu Aegis Network, is making some big moves to establish itself as a competitive agency that does it all—from best-in-class user design to great storytelling. It's doing that by focusing its energy on the Boston office.

In the U.S. Isobar has locations in Chicago, New York, Detroit and Denver, among others, but said 2017 will be spent with a greater focus on Boston. The agency's co-CEO Jeff Maling believes that in order for Isobar to grow, it needs to have a big presence in Boston where many of its clients, from Lego to Adidas, are based.

"We really want to have our critical mass in Boston. There are some great companies there to do business with," Maling said. "We also think Boston has a wealth of talent, a lot of really solid talent across the board particularly as some of our competitors pull back there."

While many of the agency's competitors are moving in and out of the city, Isobar has spent a lot of time recruiting talent, which Maling said is plentiful, including its three latest hires. First, Isobar tapped former SapientNitro alum Steve Coy and Jason Szatmary as vice presidents.

Coy will oversee a few businesses, including Hannaford and Sotheby's, across the Boston and New York offices and will also focus on new business, while Szatmary will focus on "client's most complex problems and opportunities," Isobar said in a statement.

The agency's final hire, Kenny Rennard, joins from Digitas. Rennard will fill the role of executive creative director and focus on building the agency's storytelling abilities in 2017. While working at Digitas, Rennard led the sizeable Bank of America account, among others including GM and Harley Davidson.

"In the past, clients and potential clients have seen us as a really terrific design, technology, UX shop and we've done a fabulous job at that. Now I think we have to opportunity to make a leap forward and become even better known for our creative chops and our storytelling," Rennard said. 

In the past, Isobar has done some standout work on the UX and technology end for clients including Enterprise and Lego. Recently the agency built a unified digital presence for Enterprise as well as new digital platform for Comedy Central. Moving forward, Rennard and the rest of the team will ensure that creativity and storytelling is at the center of all the work the agency does, in all of its offices, but especially in Boston.

Added Maling: "One of the things I've learned in the 15 years we've been competing in Boston is you have to be there. You can't work out of a suitcase and really be effective in Boston. The clients expect you to be local, they expect you to have a significant presence and they appreciate that." 

@ktjrichards katie.richards@adweek.com Katie Richards is a staff writer for Adweek.
Publish date: December 14, 2016 https://stage.adweek.com/agencies/why-dentsu-agency-doubling-down-its-boston-office-2017-175098/ © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT