Back in January, Advertising Age named Tribal DDB the global agency of the year — the first digital shop to receive that honor. While the award had more to do with Tribal DDB’s growth figures, as opposed to its creativity, it was a heady achievement for a 10-year-old digital shop, itself a subsidiary of Omnicom Group’s DDB Worldwide, to have bested the established creative shops. So what did the agency’s founder CEO Matt Freeman decide to do as an encore? Instead of moving up to a higher post within the Omnicom/DDB family, he’s preparing to take the CEO post at OTCBB-traded kid-focused media company and ad network GoFish. He replaces outgoing CEO Michael Downing, who founded the company in 2003. I spoke to Freeman about his decision to leave the agency business behind, how he plans to refocus GoFish’s (OTCBB: GOFH) ad efforts and the problems associated with creating brand advertising in an industry that cares mostly about clicks.
– Transcending digital: After winning the AdAge honor for helping Tribal DDB transcend the digital category and achieve recognition as a creative agency in its own right, Freeman said it was time to do something a little different. “A smooth transition was very important to me. Tribal DDB is my baby and I want to see it succeed. [The Ad Age global agency award] became cap for me