Ad Veterans Launch Creative Consultancy

Ad veterans Chris Garbutt and Colin Mitchell have launched a new creative consultancy dubbed Pltfrmr (or “Platformer” without the vowels) that will design tailormade brand-building programs for clients.

Garbutt was previously Global Chief Creative Officer at TBWA, a post he left just last week. Mitchell previously served as global vice president of marketing at McDonald’s. They are friends and colleagues who spent years working together at Ogilvy before heading to separate companies.

The pair are taking advantage of an expanding freelance community of agency creatives—the pandemic has forced many agencies to cut full time staff—and a marketing trend that’s seeing more clients embrace project work over the traditional agency retainer model.

The company will develop customized marketing plans for clients and will execute with the help of its “Talent Cloud,” a global network of specialists across marketing skill sets. From creative and strategy to performance marketing, the duo says its startup has access to hundreds of professionals, vetted and available to work as needed.



“Our mission is to get people to believe in brands,” says co-founder Garbutt, who also serves as Chief Creative Officer of the startup.

“We ardently believe that value exchange is in the midst of evolution, and that creates tension,” said co-founder Mitchell, who also serves as Chief Strategy Officer. “Many brands still operate on the notion that the value they can offer through their marketing is entertainment, while others have evolved toward purpose. The truth is it’s never about one thing. Every brand needs a unique marketing model, with its own set of incentives for participation, that all ladder back to that central, defining platform.”

PLTFRMR is launching with a founding client, Ultimate Medical Academy (UMA), led by CMO Linda Mignone, a former client of Garbutt and Mitchell from their time at Ogilvy. UMA is a nonprofit healthcare educational institution.

“UMA is in many ways a perfect founding client, because the impact of their work is vast, but they are not well known for it,” said Mitchell. “While educating and training healthcare professionals is the core of their business, we see them as creating upward mobility for their students, through the great need to care for people.”

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