Ex-Starcom chief Roberts in talks over start-up agency

Andy Roberts, the former client managing director at Starcom, is poised to return to the industry with the launch of a start-up agency. It is understood that the new venture is due to officially launch in September.

Roberts, who left Starcom after nearly 20 years in March, is thought to be in talks with two high-profile media figures about the launch.

It is believed that the agency will offer clients emerging media services such as branded content, broadcast sponsorship, product placement, advertiser-funded programming and experiential marketing.

A source close to Roberts says the start-up aims to operate a different model to such services offered by traditional media agencies and is a “very interesting proposition”.

Roberts left the agency in January as part of a major restructure orchestrated by UK chief executive Linda Smith that aimed to ramp up its focus on planning.

As part of the changes, she bought in Pru Parkinson, a founding partner of Nylon, as group strategy planning director.

He became client managing director in May last year after Smith restructured the senior management of the Publicis-owned agency around five divisions: Trading, Starcom Mediavest, Starcom, Starcom International and Strategic Planning.

Previously Roberts was managing partner for the Europe, Middle East and Africa region. He started in the media department at Bartle Bogle Hegarty, before being part of the Starcom Motive launch team.

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