Droga5 Sydney is set to shut its doors at the end of the year in what David Droga, founder of the global network, describes as a “difficult decision”.
“This was obviously a very difficult decision, both professionally and personally, and as a proud Australian, it was a bitter pill to swallow,” Droga said.
“However, we see little value in continuing to operate in this market with an office that, sadly, no longer consistently represents the Droga5 brand.”
The news follows the departure of the agency’s executive creative director, Steve Coll, who jumped ship to be a creative partner at agency WiTH Collective.
Former editor of Marketing Week in London, Steven Forster, said the agency’s closure sounds like “a lack of TLC”, describing the closure of the Sydney office as a “big blow” for the network.
“Now Droga has announced it’s closing its Sydney office – Droga is an Aussie – which it blames on self-inflicted mistakes, bad luck and an irrational Oz ad market,” he writes for the More About Advertising blog.
“At one point Droga’s Sydney office was reported to employ hundreds of people. Sounds like a lack of TLC to me.”
The full release from Droga5 in New York is below.
NEW YORK, NY – September 9, 2015 – Advertising agency Droga5, which is headquartered in New York, announced today that it would be closing its Sydney office. Although the Sydney office enjoyed an exceptionally strong start, it struggled to maintain that momentum.
“This was obviously a very difficult decision, both professionally and personally, and as a proud Australian, it was a bitter pill to swallow,” said David Droga, creative chairman and founder of Droga5.
“However, we see little value in continuing to operate in this market with an office that, sadly, no longer consistently represents the Droga5 brand. Despite world-class local management and many talented individuals working hard, the Sydney office has floundered over the past few years. Some of it was self-inflicted, some of it bad luck and some of it just the befuddling local advertising market. Regardless, we aren’t a company that measures its success by the number of its offices, but rather by the creative output, positive influence and culture of each office.”
The Sydney office will officially close its doors before the end of the year.
This year, Droga5 New York enjoyed its ninth consecutive year of over-40-percent growth and was recently named the North American Effies’ Independent Agency of the Year, One Show Global Agency of the Year and Cannes Lions Independent Agency of the Year.
“We continue to realize strong growth in the U.S., and are focusing on creating a world-class leadership team in Europe while simultaneously exploring potential models of offerings in China as our two key priorities outside the U.S.,” commented Sarah Thompson, Droga5’s Global CEO.
Droga5 recently announced the hire of a new CEO, Bill Scott, for its London office. Scott joins from Grey London. Additional key creative hires are expected to be announced in the coming weeks.