After building FCB/Six, three key execs called on to launch new IPG agency brand

Three of the leaders behind FCB/Six have been tasked with launching a new agency brand for IPG called Performance Art.

IPG says that Performance Art “brings together deep data, technology and CRM expertise with highly-awarded creative talent.” It will be led by CEO Andrea Cook, chief creative officer Ian Mackenzie, and chief operating officer Elizabeth Sellors, all of whom were instrumental in the success of the FCB/Six brand since it launched in Toronto in 2016.

The agency has developed a reputation for innovative, data-driven work for a number of different clients that both broke new ground in the industry and garnered awards hardware from the world’s top shows.

IPG said that Performance Art will work with other IPG companies to provide clients with data-driven marketing solutions. FCB/Six will continue to operate as “an integrated global unit within the FCB network” led by Tina Allan, who recently joined FCB as global partner, data science and connections.

Performance Art is about taking the vision for data and creativity formed at FCB/Six, evolving it to a new independent agency brand, and delivering it to more IPG clients, rather than those connected to one agency network, said Cook.

“We’ve had a tremendous amount of success building this vision around data and creativity,” she said. “The intent is to elevate and have us be closer allies to all of our brother and sister agencies within IPG. Ours will be very much focused on being a specialist service to all the IPG companies.”

Performance Art will be headquartered in Toronto, with an office in Montreal and New York (Cook and Mackenzie were in New York when they spoke with The Message Wednesday afternoon), with further expansion planned for Europe and South America.

Marketers today are hungry for creative campaigns that can run globally and be driven by data and technology, said Mackenzie.

“It sounds kind of easy to say… it’s actually quite hard to pull off,” he said. It requires a creative agency with a special set of skills and capabilities. “IPG recognized an opportunity to create a specialist agency whose sole focus is on helping clients not have to compromise between high creative and high performance.”

Some creative agencies have a thinly veiled (if at all) aversion to performance marketing, but Performance Art does not—it’s right there in the name, after all.

“We are entirely focused on dispelling this industry belief that there needs to be a compromise between high performance and creative,” said Cook. IPG describes it “the highest performing work, in the most creative way.”

“When it comes to anything that is expected to have high performance, there’s this automatic belief that the work isn’t going to be good,” said Cook. “It’s like frozen food—you accept that it doesn’t taste as good as freshly made. We don’t believe that, and I think Ian’s and my history has proven that simply isn’t the case.”

David Brown