MDC Partners CEO Scott Kauffman runs his agency network a bit differently than his peers.
While the agency founders’ culture has come under fire recently by some, Kauffman, who has been CEO at MDC since 2015, actively facilitates it. MDC takes a majority stake in agencies and lets its entrepreneurs drive their own growth rather than acquiring them outright.
“If you simply want to cash out and get a big payday, we’re never going to be that company,” he said. “We're not interested on having our partners cash out on us.”
So, where other holding companies are trying to break down silos across agencies to collaborate around clients, MDC still believes that autonomous agencies can still collaborate while preserving their entrepreneurial cultures.
Kauffman argues that competitors’ focus on streamlining homogenizes talent and keeps them from focusing on the client.
Kauffman sat down with AdExchanger at Cannes Lions to discuss why his holding company model works and how his agencies are navigating a consolidating media landscape.
AdExchanger: How is MDC’s presence different in Cannes this year?
SCOTT KAUFFMAN: Unlike the traditional holding companies, I don’t mandate who comes. But MDC’s visibility is up a little because I’m speaking this year, and I didn’t last year.
For us, it’s important, particularly for our agencies, to feel confident that we believe that creativity is what drives this business. Cannes Lions has worked diligently to put more of the focus back on creativity, and that’s something we wholeheartedly support.
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