Big news from Boulder this week. Alex Bogusky, one of the original founders of Crispin Porter + Bogusky, has rejoined the agency as Co-Founder, Chief Creative Engineer.
Finally got to meet one of my all-time ad heros, Linus Karlsson. The timing sucks but we still had great fun. pic.twitter.com/jR2dhwJvYZ
— Alex Bogusky (@bogusky) August 3, 2018
According to an agency spokesperson, “As part of the recent restructuring, and Alex Bogusky rejoining CP+B, Linus Karlsson will be leaving the agency. We are grateful for his creative leadership, remain great fans and friends, and look forward to all the many things we know he will achieve.”
Karlsson, who began his career in Sweden before co-founding Mother New York, moved to Colorado last fall to lead CP+B in collaboration with global CEO and Forsman & Bodenfors veteran Erik Sollenberg.
Bogusky left his namesake agency in 2010. “My time away from advertising was largely spent advising and investing in tech startups and I learned about the processes that drive those successes. I think advertising agencies can benefit from the lean and agile practices that have revolutionized so many other industries,” said Bogusky.
Since leaving CP+B in 2010, Bogusky has been an entrepreneur, designer and investor. Always drawn to social responsibility, Bogusky and his wife Ana worked closely with Al Gore, rebranding his Climate Reality Project and starting “24 Hours of Reality.” Its launch is the most highly viewed streaming web event to date, and the project continues to grow. Along with Ana, he launched COMMON, a community for accelerating social ventures, and ad agencies Made and Humanaut. As an advisor and angel investor, he has worked with dozens of startups, including Lyft and SpotX, and founded Batshit Crazy Ventures, an early stage venture capital fund.
“Alex is the most original and innovative thinker I know,” said Chuck Porter. “The last time Alex was here, we reinvented what it meant to be an ad agency, and I don’t think there’s ever been a time when the industry needs that more than right now. The new world is about being smart, fast, nimble and prolific. I think that’s what marketers want, and where talented people want to live.”
When Bogusky departed the agency in 2010, The New York Times reported:
You start to search for the more genuine version of yourself at a point in your life, and I’m doing that, Bogusky said.
I’m exploring and figuring out what is that genuine version and it’s not really consistent with corporate life because in that realm you’re kind of in the ‘get yours’ mode.
I don’t think I’ll do much advertising moving forward, because I’ve done plenty of it; I’m not able to find challenges in it.
Bogusky didn’t say he’s back for the challenges that the ad agency business now presents, but his agency isn’t the same place he left. His team isn’t in place, and there’s some magic missing. Those will be challenges inside the CP+B walls. Meanwhile, clients today offer a bevy of their own challenges, not the least of which is their appetite for digital diarrhea.
I’m a fan of this man and what’s he’s built, and I want to see him win again. When he relocated the agency to Boulder to improve his and his team’s quality of life, I was impressed. Recently, I heard that people are living in RVs in the CP+B parking lot because they can’t afford rent in Boulder, and they need to be at the agency until midnight anyway. I can’t say if this is true, or not, but even if it’s half true, it’s a sign of a culture in need of repair.
PREVIOUSLY ON ADPULP: Alex Bogusky Zigs, Where Others Zag