MDC Likes A Loose Grip, But Crispin’s Success Could Make Them Grabby

Matthew Creamer of Ad Age speculates on an ownership struggle at Crispin.

This year, MDC Partners has the option to raise its stake in Crispin from 49% to 60%, according to financial filings. In 2008, the stake could be increased to 77%. MDC has deferred these options in the past and could do so again. If it doesn’t, say people close to the agency, it could encounter friction with a creative shop that not only values its independence but also knows just how crucial it is to the prospects of MDC.

Crsipin CEO Jeff Hicks and Chuck Porter both call it a non-story, but Creamer is hearing things, mostly staffers at the shop who are concerned about the possibility.
Crispin has been on a three-year hot streak, kicked off with the win of Burger King in 2004. New accounts this year include Best Buy’s Geek Squad, American Express’ small-business account, digital work from Nike and Domino’s Pizza massive agency-of-record account.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.