One of the most colourful and outspoken personalities in Canadian advertising, Geoffrey Roche, is returning to the industry with a new shop. But don’t call it an agency.
Roche and his business partner of five years, Jack Harding, have launched Disruptincy—which counts an up-front fee model, input from a team of leading executives across multiple business sectors, and the ability to provide clients with nine ideas in nine days as its distinct capabilities.
Disruptincy’s fee structure, listed on its website Disruptincy.com, sees clients pay $1,500 for an initial consultation with Disruptincy and its partners; if they come to the conclusion there’s not a fit, Disruptincy will return $500 and recommend a more suitable partner.
If the consultation is successful, the parties progress to a half-day offsite at a cost of $5,000. Then, over the next nine days, Disruptincy will meet with leading C-suite executives—comprised of entrepreneurs and industry leaders—who are capable of bringing new and actionable ideas to the client’s business, at a cost of $10,000.
Clients then have the option to take these ideas to their existing agency partners to be carried out, or have them developed by Disruptincy. He stressed that Disruptincy has no interest in pursuing AOR-type relationships.
“We do not believe that clients should be firing advertising agencies. It is an expensive proposition, and oftentimes they hire a new agency and don’t get better work or better thinking,” he said in an interview. “They simply get a new group of people, and invariably they hire the people who worked at the previous agency. We come back with a bunch of ideas and say ‘Go get this done by your agency.'”
Roche stresses that Disruptincy is not an advertising agency, but a marketing solutions provider. “The problem with the word ‘advertising’ is it sort of defines itself as something on TV or in print, something in the past,” he said. “I sit in awe of how so much of the advertising out there is both misguided and misplaced. It might not be the best way to tell people how great you are.”
Roche is a 2010 inductee into the Marketing Hall of Legends in the Enablers category. His agency Lowe Roche captured multiple Agency of the Year accolades during its 1990s, and was also named International Agency of the Year by U.S. marketing publication Ad Age.
Roche left advertising in 2011, going on to launch Poolhouse Enterprises which created social communities built around pets, children and shoes. One of those ventures, Dogbook, made news when Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg created a profile page for a new puppy.
Roche and Harding, 26, have spent recent years providing consulting services for a group of global companies.
“Now is the right time to introduce our model to the marketplace, particularly as clients find themselves vying for attention from increasingly fickle consumers in an increasingly crowded and hyper-competitive market,” said Roche in a release. “Clients are often not getting the help they need from traditional sources in a timely fashion. In fact, in many cases they’re unsure of where to find the help. That’s where our model fits in.”
– Chris Powell