Ari Merkin, the well-regarded creative agency veteran, is teaming with Richard Lent to relaunch the agency that Lent founded 18 years ago -- AgencyNet. The independent digital shop, with a staff of nearly 40, is being renamed TEN and will focus on brand development using the latest digital tools and techniques.
Merkin, a nearly 20-year veteran of the ad industry, has been named chief brand officer and partner at the Fort Lauderdale-based TEN. The shop also has an office in New York.
The repositioning of the agency comes amid what Lent and Merkin have termed “the era of the Do Brand,” a period when brands are more active in creating content and experiences for consumers and engaging with their customer bases in ways only recently enabled by a plethora of new digital platforms and channels.
“We’ve seen powerful things happen with the partnership of brand-building and digital innovation at the core of what we do,” said Lent. “It’s a creative team structure that we’re applying to every piece of business within the agency.”
Previously, Merkin held executive creative director positions at MDC Partners’ Crispin Porter + Bogusky and Fallon. Earlier he was chief creative officer and co-founder of Toy, the now defunct New York-based boutique agency. He is credited with leading the work for the launch of the Mini Cooper as well Truth’s “body bags” anti-tobacco campaign.
“We're a digital agency that can solve those big brand problems,” Merkin said of his new agency’s repositioning.
TEN’s client roster includes Bacardi, US Air Force, Pencils of Promise, Citizen Watches, and Universal Music Group.