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BarrettSF — a fledgling ad shop with veteran talent

The fam­i­ly of online adver­tis­ing agen­cies has an addi­tion­al mem­ber this month, with the launch of fledg­ling ad shop barrettSF.

Aspir­ing art direc­tors, copy­writ­ers and account man­agers may feel stirred into strik­ing out on their own after hear­ing the San Fran­cis­co startup’s sto­ry. It’s the brain­child of vet­er­an cre­ative leader Jamie Bar­rett, who until recent­ly was a part­ner and exec­u­tive cre­ative direc­tor at Good­by, Sil­ver­stein and Part­ners, and his erst­while Good­by bud­dy, Patrick Kelly.

Barrett’s 27 year long career has won him acco­lades for his work on the NBA, Com­cast and Nike. 2011 saw him hit his tenth year with Good­by. He also turned 50 years of age.

Bar­rett explained, “Those two things made me go, ‘I’ve got anoth­er big chap­ter in me, and what’s that going to be?’”

The rise of new small ad shops

He and Kel­ly are but one of a stream of cre­ative lead­ers that have walked away from estab­lished agen­cies in the last two years to start new ad shops of their own. Oth­er promi­nent names include Alex Bogusky, Ger­ry Graf and Ty Mon­tague, each of whom, like Bar­rett, had reached an age where they could tap into an abun­dance of expe­ri­ence to launch their new ventures.

Com­ment­ing on the emer­gence of small new shops, mar­ket­ing man­age­ment con­sul­tant Ken Robin­son of Ark Advi­sors said, “It’s a chal­lenge for agen­cies, but a great time for clients because small, new start­up agen­cies have a tremen­dous amount of top-lev­el tal­ent that is under­uti­lized. It’s a ter­rif­ic oppor­tu­ni­ty to get peo­ple who are going to work even hard­er to prove them­selves and give you tremen­dous access and great insight.”

The secret ingre­di­ent: cre­ative talent

And Bar­rett clear­ly plans to fall into that cat­e­go­ry. He’s already at work assem­bling a team capa­ble of col­lec­tive­ly doing “any­thing and every­thing well.”

The startup’s ini­tial clients came through pre­vi­ous rela­tion­ships. For exam­ple, Bar­rett was intro­duced to exec­u­tives at the Red­wood Asso­ci­a­tion (a lum­ber firm which encour­ages the use of red­wood for fur­ni­ture or deck­ing) by a mutu­al friend. Anoth­er client, Pac-12, came to bar­rettSF through its pres­i­dent, Gary Stephen­son, who had worked with Bar­rett and Kel­ly while he was a mar­ket­ing leader at the NBA dur­ing their Good­by days.

One thing’s for sure, this self-financed start­up cer­tain­ly appears to have all the tal­ent it needs to make quite a splash.

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