Maja Pawinska Sims 12 Jan 2021 // 5:51PM GMT
LONDON — W Communications is opening an operation in New York to support UK brands looking for a greater presence in the US.
The move is the latest stage in the agency’s strategy to establish a three-hub global model based out of London, Singapore and New York and then expand within each region. Further office openings are planned in the US and Asia-Pacific.
W Communications board director Gemma McAloon (pictured), who has been with the agency for more than 11 years, including supporting its APAC expansion, will run the US operations as SVP North America with a team of three full-time employees.
As travel restrictions have delayed the planned physical office opening in Manhattan, the operation, named ‘Little London’, is currently being run from W’s headquarters in London on New York time, meaning the agency now has a 24-hour operation across the US, EMEA, and APAC.
Initial services offered by the team brand launches, reputation management, campaign execution, global positioning, experiential and events, with plans to add talent & influencer and studio functions, as in London, as the office grows.
Launch clients – all UK companies operating in the US, rather than the agency competing with US-based companies – include female members’ club The AllBright and its West Hollywood and upcoming New York venues.
In addition, private school Wetherby-Pembridge has enlisted W’s US team for a corporate advisory role as it expands within the US; traders and investors social platform TradingView has appointed the agency to position it as a fintech thought leader in New York; luxury yacht guide Boat International will be working with the team to use its data, events and collaborations to reach high net worth individuals across the US; and W is also launching Pizza Pilgrims’ first publication in the US.
W chief executive Rachel Friend told PRovoke: “Our ambition is to open physically as soon as possible, but client demand we decided to get started. Gemma was employee number two at W so understands and is responsible for so much of the culture in the agency, she’s ambitious for the growth of the agency, passionate about culture and placemaking, and is absolutely perfect to lead the Little London offer because it’s all about British brands.”
Agency founder Warren Johnson added: “With our anticipated move date pushed back, there was really no time to waste in getting our US operations up and running. We’ve spoken with clients and they love the idea – it’s just another example of why independent, agile agencies are best placed to react to the changing needs of businesses during these interesting times.
“In a twist of fate, this year has been a crash course in how to operate a business remotely. We’ll take what has worked and ditch what hasn’t to ensure our clients continue to receive the same quality of service that has seen us thrive through 2020 where others have fallen.”