“A lot of agencies are on a four-year program to change their business, but [with the growth of programmatic and automation] you have to change much more quickly,” Cass said. “I want to start with a blank sheet of paper, take two really good agencies and put them together and allow us to invest heavily into our tech capabilities, the technology and creative.”
Steve Farella, CEO of TargetCast (who will also serve as chairman of Assembly and MDC Media Partners), agreed that fast-moving companies tend to be able to innovate. “We’re going to use our size as an advantage and move quickly,” he said.
The ability to be nimble is a logistical challenge as well as a cultural one, Cass said.
“Five hundred people is a good 150,000 square feet of New York real estate,” he explained. “You can’t just turn that off overnight. That business model will not allow them to pivot at the speed at which the market is moving. Alot of the ability to turn on a dime is culturally bleached out at the holding companies.”
In addition to Farella and Cass’s leadership positions, Isobar’s Chief Strategy Officer Michael Nicholas has joined Assembly as chief experience officer. Peter Knobloch, former CEO of RJ Palmer, will serve as chief investment officer for the new media agency.