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Posts Tagged ‘Ilana Bryant’

We Hear: So This is What’s Probably Happening at the Frogpond

There may not have been layoffs as we initially reported last Friday at StrawberryFrog’s New York office, but that doesn’t mean there’s any less drama. Sources familiar with the matter tell us that in lieu of cuts, founder/chief Scott Goodson has asked senior management at the agency to take what we hear is a 20 percent pay cut. Whether this is retroactive is still unclear, but we’ll find out soon enough. To be honest, we feel it’s beating a dead horse at this point. Let’s take a break from the Froggers unless something major happens, shall we?

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A Battle Brewing Between StrawberryFrog, Former CSO?

About six weeks ago, we reported about the departure of Ilana Bryant, who was chief strategy officer at StrawberryFrog NY. While it seemed the door was eventually shut on the matter and both Bryant and the agency moved on, this is apparently far from the case. We here at AS have obtained a memo that SF boss Scott Goodson sent to New York staff today regarding the Bryant situation. It reads:

“Dear Frogs: a former employee, Ilana Bryant, left our agency  couple of months back and now she is in a contractual dispute with the agency. She is saying really negative things about the agency. These are false and baseless. She is trying to get as much as she can from us. This should not be a reflection on the success we have achieved and the hard work we have all put into our work. This company has been a success since its founding twelve years ago. We have very strong and continued relations with many clients and we remain committed to our future success and the growth of a great agency.”
But from what sources familiar with the matter tell us, Bryant isn’t spreading negative word about the agency at all but just wants what’s allegedly being held from her, which is equity. According to our sources, Ilana was a partner at SF and instrumental in developing the agency’s “Cultural Movement” brand, so if in fact she hasn’t received her due, Bryant obviously has some merit with her dispute. We hear Adweek is delving into this story as well, and as the he said-she said saga continues, hopefully we’ll be able to shed more light until the matter’s resolved.

We Hear: Pedersen Replacing Bryant at Frogpond?

We’ll get official word on this tomorrow as we’re actually scheduled speak to whomever is the new chief strategy officer at StrawberryFrog (love surprises), but a few spies tell us that Ilana Bryant‘s replacement is one Ole Pedersen, currently global group planning director at Deutsch NY. Pedersen’s resume has planner written all over it, as he’s held that title in varying degrees at agencies including Goodby, DDB and BBDO. We’ll have this hopefully solidified by tomorrow afternoon. Stay tuned…

Update: According to sources familiar with the matter, yes, you know it’s true. But was Pedersen pissed because he was passed over for a position at Deutsch for someone else? That we don’t know is true.

We Hear: Sophie Kelly Leaves StrawberryFrog

Our ever-reliable sources tell us that StrawberryFrog managing director/partner Sophie Kelly has left the agency. We’ve been getting tips over the last couple of days talking about “big changes at StrawberryFrog” so we’re assuming these were pertaining to Aussie native Kelly, who joined the Froggers two years ago from JWT. During her nearly six years at the latter agency, Kelly held posts including global business director for Diageo.

Kelly’s not the only major StrawberryFrog exec that’s called it quits, though, as chief strategy officer Ilana Bryant has also walked out the door. Bryant’s LinkedIn does in fact indicate that she’s joined up as a strategy partner at a consultancy called Special Forces. She had been with StrawberryFrog for over five years.

Update: Girl, you know it’s true, Kelly is in fact “moving on” from StrawberryFrog. We’ve been told it was a “mutual agreement.” Here’s the official word from the agency:

In the two years Sophie has been with the pond, she has made an enormous contribution to the growth of the business. Under her leadership we have secured more retainer clients, grown existing clients, improved our product and diversified the types of projects we take on in the content and new media area. Sophie’s experience at StrawberryFrog has opened her eyes to new possibilities in the content creation and new media area that she has a desire to go and explore. Kelly joined the agency as lead Business Director and went on to be Managing Director reporting to the CEO. StrawberryFrog plans to fill the both jobs, most likely with two people. During the transition, Scott Goodson will act as MD of the New York agency while a search is underway.

Sophie says: “Leaving is difficult. I have a lot of respect for the agency. It is a very emotional thing for me to leave an agency that has been so wonderful to me. I have great passion for StrawberryFrog.”

“We will miss Sophie. She leaves a friend of the FrogPond and we are inspired by her time here. We are sad to see her go,” says Scott Goodson, founder and CEO.

StrawberryFrog Adds Grantham to NY Office

Scott Goodson & Co. are sprucing things up in the strategy department at StawberryFrog’s New York office as the agency’s hired Richie Grantham to take on the newly created post of group planning/strategy director. Grantham, who starts at SF today, joins from Sarkissian Mason, where moved up from VP, strategy+invention to chief innovation officer in three years’ time.

Since 2006, Grantham has also run his own digital marketing/strategy consultancy, Risque, and was once a “human intelligence director” (how Phillip K. Dick) for Fahrenheit 212. From what the agency tells us, 212 has a “a legacy focus on culture innovation and business, which is a perfect pedigree for what we do at StrawberryFrog: Cultural Movement.” Now at StrawberryFrog, Grantham joins AgencySpy OG Celestine Arnold in the re-organized strategy department. Arnold joined SF from Dare Digital earlier this month as director of emerging media strategy. Regarding both new hires, StrawberryFrog CSO Ilana Bryant says, “Richie and Celestine a[re] true ‘free range strategists’ with a fantastic track record across multiple marketing areas including brand strategy, product innovation, PR, design, digital media and gaming. They share a passion for cultural branding and community mobilization that make them perfect cultural movement strategists for StrawberryFrog.  We’re excited for them to expand our department.”

If you care to reminisce for a moment, Grantham spoke to AgencySpy when he first joined Sarkissian back in ’08 and here’s what the “very sharp” exec thought about digital ideation and more back then.