Allison+Partners launches conflict shop Headstand

Agency veteran Zach Colvin is leading the spinoff firm.

Headstand's Zach Colvin
Headstand's Zach Colvin

SAN BRUNO, CA: Allison+Partners has launched an integrated communications consultancy known as Headstand.

Zach Colvin, who is leading the firm as president, called Headstand a spinoff from Allison. Its services include creative campaign development and execution, brand identity and messaging development, content development, influencer relations, media relations, social engagement and digital programs.

Clients include companies in consumer and B2B tech, consumer lifestyle, food and beverage, restaurants and entertainment, Colvin explained. While operating in stealth mode for the past six months, it worked with clients including SAP North America, Xiaomi, NerdWallet, Trov and SideChef.

"Headstand is a place where we can service clients that are in conflict with Allison+Partners clients," Colvin said. "It’s also a custom consultancy. We are equally at home crafting narratives and campaigns and developing strategies or executing at the tactical level, as well. We are pursuing our own chunk of new business, as well."

The firm has five staffers, including Colvin, who is overseeing Headstand’s business development and organic growth. Stacey Johnes is serving as the firm’s GM, responsible for supporting agency operations including financial oversight, staffing and brand development. 

Prior to Headstand, Colvin was partner and California chair at Allison+Partners, overseeing the firm’s Golden State offices in San Francisco, San Diego and Los Angeles and leading new business for the U.S. Anne Colaiacovo, partner and president of North America for Allison, is taking over Colvin’s responsibilities, he said. 

Johnes was previously SVP of client service at Allison+Partners, working with consumer brands. Her replacement has not been named, said Colvin.

"Headstand aims to meet the demand for the way clients want to work and want to partner with agencies," said Colvin. 

The name "Headstand" refers to the firm "turning the traditional agency model on its head," said Colvin, noting that there is room in the marketing landscape for an agency to operate more like a consultancy. 

"A lot of agencies are getting lazy in their approach, focusing on templated approaches," he said. "That might work in the short term, but I don’t think it is the recipe for long-term relationships or allowing or enabling organic growth."

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