The once all-conquering Naked Communications brand was finally shuttered in 2019 when its last remaining outpost, in Australia, was merged into sister creative shop BMF. The business had already undergone significant changes since being acquired in 2008 by the Australian marketing group Photon, now known as Enero. Launched in 2000 in London to offer "media-neutral" communications planning - and nothing other than planning - Naked began to diversify after its concept was widely adopted by other companies, not just independents but also larger networks. That forced the agency to develop new skills, primarily in creative advertising, in order to survive. The gradual evolution towards creative services prompted the effective termination of Naked's original London office following merger with digital subsidiary Hyper to create (for a while at least) Hypernaked. A similar change gradually spread to other corners of what was at its peak a network of 16 international outposts, including offices in London, New York and Paris. However, the shift of direction never really took off, and virtually all of those global offices were shuttered. As of Spring 2019, only two outposts remained, both in Australia. The current agency bears no resemblance to the original model.
Capsule checked 27th February 2019
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Historical profile information for Naked
Adbrands Daily Update 15th May 2019: After years of slow decline, the Naked brand is finally to be discontinued. The remaining Australian offices are being absorbed into sister creative agency BMF. Most of Naked's staff and clients will transfer, but managing director Tim Kirby is leaving. Enero CEO Matthew Melhuish said "As we continue to reimagine the future for Enero and look to build strong businesses to take advantage of the changing marketing landscape, we saw a great opportunity to bring together the skills within Naked and BMF. By adding Naked's strength in media-neutral strategy and innovative creativity to a BMF team who are already performing brilliantly, we are creating a stronger business that has even more potential."
Adbrands Weekly Update 6th Apr 2017: So farewell, Naked. Once one of London's most admired marketing agencies, Naked is to finally shutter its London office, a few weeks after the New York office also closed its doors. At its peak, Naked managed a network of 16 offices around the globe, specialising in "media-neutral" media planning. However, that discipline was quickly adopted by other agencies offering a broader range of services, and Naked was also hamstrung by the financial problems endured by Australian group Enero (previously Photon) by whom it was acquired in 2006. The global network was gradually scaled back, at the same time as Naked broadened its approach to offer creative services as well as planning. That failed to catch on in most markets except Australia, where two offices remain, for the time being. There is also an affiliated outpost in Japan.
Adbrands Weekly Update 9th Oct 2014: Naked took another step in its transformation from media strategy network to full-service agency with the appointment of Izzy DeBellis as group chief creative & strategy officer, working from the network's New York HQ. He joins from KBS, where he was joint CCO until a reorganisation last month.
Adbrands Weekly Update 21st Nov 2013: Jon Wilkins, the last of the three original founders of seminal planning agency Naked, announced his departure from the agency after almost 14 years. He launched the business in 2000 with partners John Harlow and Will Collin, and negotiated its acquisition to Australian marketing group Photon (now Enero) in 2008. Harlow left in 2009 (and tragically died earlier this year); Will Collin resigned in 2011. The agency has changed significantly since its inception, and is increasingly being repositioned as a full-service agency, offering creative services alongside its original speciality of planning.
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