Monday, October 24, 2005


Two prominent Creative Directors, who opted out of mainstream advertising after selling their Agencies, have established a new Sydney-based consultancy called The Creative Directors.

Phil Atkinson (right), founding partner of Sydney agency BAM (later BAM/SSB) in the late 1980’s, joins Julian Smith (left), founding partner of CCS (later CCSO&M), established in Melbourne around the same time. The pair were earlier concurrent Creative Directors of DDB, in Sydney and Melbourne.

“It was hard to believe that nobody else in the world had claimed the website domain name,” says Atkinson. “Given that we felt the most contemporary way to position a consultancy with a prospect territory in Australia and Asia was via the web, the name fitted so we didn’t hesitate to grab it.”

Still one of Australia’s most awarded art directors, Atkinson sees The Creative Directors as a flexible structure offering marketers, PR companies and advertising agencies access to mature and experienced strategic thinking and creative development skills -- something he feels clients want more of in 2005.

“We know that advertising has changed a lot in recent years,” admits Atkinson. “It’s now much more fluid and fragmented, with tighter margins and a lot more accountability. Arguably though, neither does it have the absolute spread of talent and experience that it had maybe five or ten years ago. Together, Julian and I have worked on upwards of 120 mainstream brands, so there are few categories in which we don’t have solid experience.”

Looking to channel his energies into other creative projects, Atkinson earlier this year left Australian Spirit, the unique affinity credit card concept he conceived and co-founded four years ago. Smith still had one leg in advertising -- he’d been directing TV commercials through Melbourne film production house Black Cat Films, while writing feature films and a sitcom, “Adland”, set in an ad agency.

“Getting any production up in Australia these days isn’t easy or quick,” says Smith ruefully. “But at least now it’s easier to get your TV ad off the ground: there aren’t too many creative teams around who can take a project from communication strategy through creative development, on to production and film directing and right up to completion. That’s just one economy of scale we can offer through The Creative Directors.”

“But we have a lot more than just creative skills to offer,” adds Atkinson. “Especially given our business track records – we both played significant roles in building agencies and later sold them successfully to multinationals. Our suite of services includes everything from training, to keynote speaking to business consulting. And we’re happy to travel, too!”

For further details:
Or call: Phil Atkinson 0438-166191; Julian Smith 0419-103234.


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