AllofUs buys back independence

As Interactive consultancy AllofUs parts with McCann we speak to AllofUs managing director Phil Gerrard about the consultancy’s new direction and business plan.

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L-R: Orlando Mathias, Nick Cristea, Phil Gerrard

Interactive and user experience consultancy AllofUs has broken away from the McCann Worldgroup, which bought it in 2011.

The buyout has been led by AllofUs co-founders Nick Cristea, Orlando Mathias and Phil Gerrard who will remain in charge.

Meanwhile co-founder and art director Simon “Sanky” Sankarayya is leaving, although he retains a stake in the agency.

McCann Worldwide chief executive Mark Lund says that the group has been increasingly integrating its digital services across the group and that AllofUs as a “London standalone unit” doesn’t fit with this model.

He adds that the consultancy will be “better positioned for growth if it returns to independent ownership”.

Phil Gerrard says: “It’s now time to do something new with AllofUs. Over the last few years we have increasingly adopted more hybrid product development techniques through our work for tech and start-up businesses.”

This means working with fledgling businesses as “true partners” by taking a stake in the companies, says Gerrard, who wants to restructure the business around “a new operating model”.

The business will “look beyond purely time-based remuneration” and instead look to client service fees, equity stakes and revenue share, he says.

Gerrard also hints that AllofUs will develop its own tech IP and says a “big hire” and “a very big win” are also in the offing and will be announced soon.

Landmark projects included the iPTV Sky Player it designed, taking a service-led approach to digital product design, and what it calls “a progressive approach to interfaces” designing installations for the likes of Nike, the Science Museum, Tate and Westfield.

When AllofUs was sold to McCann in 2011 Orlando Mathias said: “We’re keeping our brand and our name and we’re not changing our offer. This move will open up a lot more opportunity for us, including more international work.”

The consultancy was set up in 2003 and formed as a breakaway from Digit, which joined WPP the following year.

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