Suki Thompson, the former managing director of the Haystack Group, has joined forces with former JWT business development director, Peter Cowie to launch a marketing consultancy service called Oystercatchers.
The consultancy will advise marketers on how to bridge the gap between “traditional and digital advertising”. Its first brief is an agency pitch for online travel company, Lastminute.com.
Cowie has resigned as PCI Fitch EMEA managing partner to launch the venture as an equal partner. He left JWT in 2006 to become the managing director at the sister WPP-owned design agency PCI Fitch, which merged with digital agency Clever Media this summer to create global experiential marketing agency FitchLive.
The new consultancy has drafted in Fran Cassidy, marketing director of former ITV sales house, Carlton Sales; Richard Buitenhek, the former BP general manager of group advertising and sponsorship; and former head of advertising for Tourism Australia, Josie Jacobs.
Thompson says: “Oystercatchers will benchmark the current marketing structures of our clients and also evaluate partnerships with agencies. We will not be just about search and selection but offer expertise to marketers on how to balance traditional with digital.”
Oystercatchers has form≠ed a strategic alliance with search and selection shop Agency Assessments International (AAI) in an attempt to offer consultancy to clients globally including the US, Russia and Dubai.
AAI chairman David Wethey has severed ties with The Haystack Group, which Suki Thompson set up with Alan Thompson in 2001.
The two companies formed an alliance, AAI Haystack Partnership, at the start of the year (MW January 11)
but this has since been scrapped. Alan Thompson continues to run The Haystack Group.