Diana Marszalek 28 Feb 2019 // 10:00PM GMT
NEW YORK — Five months after announcing their merger, Text100 and sister agency Bite will on Friday formally launch as a newly combined firm, called Archetype.
“It’s just critical that we move forward as one agency with a shared vision,” said Bite CEO Helena Maus, whom parent company Next15 tapped to lead the new organization following the departure of Text100 CEO Aedhmar Hynes.
“We also believe there is an opportunity to set the standard for the next generation of global agencies,” Maus told the Holmes Report. “When we talk about Archetype, we talk about being the archetype for the reimagined global agency.”
Maus said that goal is meant to be captured in Archetype’s branding (a name and simple black-and-white look designed to reflect the agency’s values — ambition, curiosity and kindness), the result of a six month internal exercise.
More importantly, perhaps, Archetype’s new operating structure aims to reduce traditional hierarchies, as a means of putting staffers on more equal footing and promoting local excellence, she said.
Reducing layers of leadership, Maus said, is meant to open up client access to staff, including senior leaders. “We really want to turn that model on its head,” Maus said. “And to say if you work with us you work with people at every level of the organization every day.”
Archetype’s operating model also centers around the premise of local offices being leaders in their markets, centers of excellence that abide by companywide standards but know their foothold better than anyone else in, or outside of, the larger agency, she said.
All of which, however, has impacted both Text100 and Bite’s legacy operations, which have experienced office closures to personnel loss in the nearly half-year since the merger was announced.
While Hynes’ departure after 18 years as Text100 CEO was the biggest move, the agency is shuttering its Rochester, NY office, precipitated largely by the loss of clients Cisco and IBM.
Text100 senior VP and North America regional director James Beechinor-Collins announced in a LinkedIn post that he is also leaving the firm. He had been at Text100 since 2015, when parent company Next 15 bought his content marketing agency, Republic Publishing. In addition, Bite London MD Rachel Gilley moved to Clarity PR in December.