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180 (Netherlands/US)

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180 Amsterdam ranked as one of the leading independent creative boutiques in Europe for much of the 2000s. For several years it enjoyed a productive alliance with Omnicom, working with TBWA on the Adidas global account, and jointly winning Sony Electronics in the US in 2006 in partnership with BBDO. The Amsterdam office rebranded in 2017 as 180 Kingsday following merger with that separate independent creative shop.

Clients

Click here for a 180 client listing from Adbrands Account Assignments

The agency opened an office in Los Angeles in January 2007 to service Sony. Soon afterwards, 180's principals agreed to sell a majority shareholding to Omnicom. The marketing giant has encouraged further cooperation between 180 and its other agencies, and assisted the smaller shop to establish a presence in other markets. In 2008, a new unit was established in Amsterdam under the name Riot to manage global digital for Adidas. It now also handles other clients as well. Two new units were established in 2009: design and retail shop Detail and content production hub U-Turn. In 2017, core outpost 180 Amsterdam merged with local rival Kingsday, to create 180 Kingsday.

Co-founder Chris Mendola is chairman, now based mainly in LA. Tragically, the agency's other main co-founder Alex Melvin died in 2011 at the age of just 53. Mike Allen, former head of 180 LA, was named as global CEO in 2012. Al Moseley, previously president & chief creative officer, 180 Amsterdam, moved to a new role as international president and global chief creative officer in 2017, following the merger with Kingsday. The latter's Sander Volten is CEO of the combined Dutch agency. William Gelner, formerly managing partner & chief creative officer of 180 LA, stepped down in 2017 and was replaced by Eduardo Marques. Mike Harris is global chief strategy officer. Advertising Age estimated global revenues of $61m in 2016, including $33m in the US.

Despite its founding location, 180 Amsterdam's senior management team has always been mostly British or American, and the house language is predominantly English rather than Dutch. The agency was set up in 1998 by two former employees from the Amsterdam office of Wieden & Kennedy. Alex Melvin and Chris Mendola were in fact respectively planning director and account director on the Nike account for W&K. They were dismissed by W&K in September that year for allegedly preparing a pitch for sportswear rival Adidas. (They were cleared of any wrongdoing in a subsequent court case brought by their former employer).

Recruiting two other ex-W&K employees, Melvin and Mendola pitched formally to Adidas and were rewarded with a place on that roster alongside Leagas Delaney before the end of the year. In a subsequent review, they were twinned by the client with TBWA to handle the global account, and the resulting work captured a string of awards during 2004 and 2005. Other blue-chip account wins followed.

Last full revision 12th February 2016

* Archive page for historical reference only. This profile is no longer being actively updated. See active page here *


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