When Wieden + Kennedy veteran Craig Allen launched his own agency Callen in Austin, Texas, his backer was his own employer.
Wieden + Kennedy will support the new company as a minority shareholder and give Callen complete creative autonomy, with the team planning to eventually buy back all of its shares and become a fully independent business.
Agency principals agreed to help fund Allen's venture on one very specific condition: the agency can never be sold to a holding company, private-equity firm or any other entity. That, feels, Wieden + Kennedy, will ensure the agency's independence.
Wieden + Kennedy's reason for investing in Callen was that 'advertising could use more creativity'. Joining Allen in the venture are veterans Niklas Lindstrom of Droga5 and Holly Petitjean who has worked in agencies such as Huge, Possible and GS&P.
The agency has one other employee now.
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