As 2019 drew to a close, Keith Cartwright shook up the ad world by leaving 72andSunny. Now, he’s back to shake it up again—with the launch of his eponymous WPP-backed agency, Cartwright.
The new agency already touts Facebook and P&G as clients, with Cartwright having made waves for the latter with “The Look” at Cannes in 2019. Rather than rely on business as usual, though, the agency is partnering with Grey Group and focusing on a new model that gives them access to Grey’s international talent pool—with the intended result being that brands will have a more direct relationship with Cartwright’s leadership.
“My goal in structuring our agency this way allows us to maintain the highest level of client interaction and partnership, while giving us the ability to pull unlimited resources and scale globally as needed,” Cartwright writes.
A graduate of Syracuse University, Cartwright sits on the board of the Ad Council and The One Club for Creativity, and has spent time at Ogilvy & Mather, TBWA\Chiat\Day, Wieden + Kennedy and Butler, Shine Stern & Partners, in addition to his own former shop, Union Made Creative. He’ll remain on at Saturday Morning, the nonprofit he co-founded in 2016 to combat racial bias and injustice.
As for the state of his industry, “Advertising hasn’t lost its way or become irrelevant,” he writes. “In fact, our business is now more important and necessary than ever before. We take in more information in a day than our parents did in a lifetime. People aren’t sitting around waiting on your ad to come out. This requires a different type of creativity. Creativity has to be bold and audacious in order for you to pay attention, inspire you to share and entice you to want more.”
To ring in the Venice, CA–based launch, here’s a medley of Cartwright’s powerful work. For much more, click here.