Former Maloney & Fox principal launches creativity-focused consultancy

Brian Maloney, former MD of Ogilvy Public Relations' US consumer marketing practice, has launched his own agency focused on idea generation, event services, and networking.

NEW YORK: Brian Maloney, former MD of Ogilvy Public Relations’ US consumer marketing practice, has launched his own agency focused on idea generation, event services, and networking.

The firm, named Cusp NYC, opened its doors in a mosaic tile shop in Lower Manhattan earlier this month. Part of the store will be converted into an art gallery, as well, said Maloney, who left Ogilvy to pursue his passions in May.

"I left because I felt there was something I needed to do that I wasn’t able to do at Ogilvy, and that was really coming up with a unique way to build ideas and an interesting way to get people stirred up about things they love," he explained. "It’s a great place, but not the right fit for me."

After leaving the WPP agency, Maloney took a few months off to figure out his passions and skills and how he could combine them to be of service to companies, brands, and individuals, he said.

With Cusp, he’s folding his interests of music, art, and cooking into the firm’s three service offerings, known as The Idea Trip, Amp, and Start Up.

The Idea Trip is focused on bringing a brand or company on a one- or two-day trip as part of an out-of-the-box brainstorming session for a program or campaign. The customized ventures can include visits to museums, boat trips, cooking classes, or visiting young entrepreneurs, explained Maloney.

"I think most agencies have a one-lane highway on how to create ideas, and in order to succeed, especially today, we have to start taking more creative risks and get out and about and experience creative impulses and opportunities," he said.

Maloney said if a client wants additional support after the brainstorm, he will provide counsel for any program recommendations drafted during an Idea Trip outing.

For the Amp offering, Maloney will team up with real-estate firms to hold events or music presentations for clients in luxury residence listings in New York City.

Start Up, which began as a way to stir people’s passions for collecting art, will help young brands or entrepreneurs connect with the right people for the right services, said Maloney.

"I have a great network and I love to share it," he added.

At the moment, Maloney is the only employee of Cusp, but he is partnering with Jane Layne Events for some activities. Maloney said he plans to hire staffers in the fourth quarter once a few Idea Trips are ready, as well as Amp events.

Some of Cusp’s client projects include work with artists Ross Brodar and Billi Kid, co-curation with the Cheryl Hazan Gallery, and an installation for Design Week 2015.

The name Cusp loosely stands for "creativity unbridled to solve problems," said Maloney, adding that the SP in the name could also represent "stirring your passions."

Prior to his stint at Ogilvy of nearly a year and a half, Maloney ran a firm with Margi Fox named Maloney & Fox for nearly 16 years. Fox, who joined Ogilvy at the same time at Maloney, also left the WPP agency in May, stepping down from her role of US creative director and MD of the US consumer marketing practice. She has since joined DeVries global in the newly created role of global creative director.

Upon the departure of Maloney and Fox from their eponymous firm in 2013, the agency was folded into parent Waggener Edstrom.

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