Louise Story of The New York Times takes the robe off Naked, the communications planning agency with offices in London and New York.
Here’s a bit about how the firm is structured and the role they play in clients’ lives:
Unlike many ad agencies, Naked does not create ads or purchase the space for them from media companies. Executives at Naked say that they are “media neutral,” meaning that they are indifferent to where the advertising dollars of their clients are spent; this, they say, distinguishes them from agencies that might tend to steer clients toward television, for example.
“We do not have any predisposition to recommend any channel,” said Paul Woolmington, a founding partner of Naked New York. “That is something that cannot be underestimated.”
Naked usually does not replace a company’s lineup of creative agencies and media buyers. Instead, Naked works like a consulting firm, advising how to use the regular agencies.
In other words, Naked disrupts the apple cart. I’m sure the “partner” agencies just love that.
Story’s story also gets to the shop’s attitude, if one can call it that. She says Naked’s planners regularly tell clients “that their ad campaigns have been failing miserably.” And Paul Woolmington, a founding partner of Naked New York, uses words like “transformation” and “movement” to describe Naked’s work. At Naked, staff are “brilliant misfits” who want to “liberate marketing,” he said.
The firm has even published a limited-edition book with a list of its principles, called “naked truths.” I’d like to read that book. This firm clearly has balls.