Simon Davis, the former CEO of Blue 449, is joining forces with MSQ Partners, the leading international marketing communications group, to open a new media agency, ‘Walk-In Media’.
Operating as an independent planning and buying agency, Walk-In Media will also draw upon MSQ’s broader multi-disciplinary capabilities such as performance marketing, data and analytics, creative and martech, to deliver a joined-up service tailored to each client’s individual communications needs.
Walk-In Media will be based at MSQ’s London hub. This will enable the team to work in close collaboration, where relevant, with both The Gate London, in support of its existing full-service proposition, and twentysix, MSQ’s lead performance media agency. It will also plug into MSQ’s existing international creative and media capability, which extends across eight markets, including San Francisco, New York, Singapore and Shanghai.
Walk-in Media aims to remove the barriers that are increasingly preventing clients from working effectively with media agencies, tackling the inflexibility, trust and transparency issues often related to holding companies, whilst also providing greater scale and more capabilities than independents.
Davis said: “The move to impersonal, centralised specialist practices by the big holding companies may serve the biggest spending global clients, but it has hollowed-out their media agencies and damaged the quality of their service to mid-sized and smaller clients who are now being neglected. Walk-In Media will offer the service, transparency and breakthrough thinking you would hope for from an independent media agency, but with a global footprint and full specialist capabilities including digital performance, tech, data and content, from Day One.
Whether you are an advertiser of scale questioning the quality of service and output from your big holding company media agency, or a scaling-up advertiser looking to move to the next level of growth, we will be able to provide the full service you need to deliver results. Feel free to walk in for some grown up advice!”
Having started his career in publishing, Davis joined Blue 449 (then Walker Media) in 2006. He was promoted to UK CEO in 2010 and was the longest-serving top 10 media agency Chief Executive when he resigned from the role earlier this year. For the last three years running, he’s been named by Campaign Magazine as one of its Top 10 Media Suits.
The launch of Walk-In Media follows significant investment in MSQ from leading mid-market private equity firm LDC, to support the group in investing in new talent and services and to drive further ambitious growth plans. New arrivals already include Charles Courtier, the former Global Chief Executive of MEC, who joined earlier this year as Chairman.
Peter Reid, MSQ Chief Executive, said: “Our support of Simon’s launch shows our enthusiasm for working with the best talent out there. Our recent investment allows us to take better advantage of exciting new opportunities, and we believe that being able to offer the full suite of marketing services will provide our clients with more effective joined-up communications.”