Ad agency veteran Larry Woodard announced the formation of Graham Stanley Advertising with headquarters in New York. Woodard, a 25 year agency veteran has been, for the past decade, President, CEO and the driving force behind Vigilante Advertising, a highly recognized New York based shop owned by French based holding company Publicis Groupe.
"My father, Graham Stanley Woodard, who passed away in 2008, was born into a sharecropping family in the 1930's," explains Woodard. "They grew tobacco and cotton. My grandfather, Jesse Woodard, told me the story of working for an entire year, going to settle up at the end of the season and getting just $20 from the land owner. He finally managed to buy a farm which is still in the family 4 generations later. I came to realize that some 60 years after my grandfather stopped sharecropping, I was working the land for someone else. I spent the past ten years building an advertising agency for a holding company. Now I've fixed that."
The agency combines traditional advertising services with Digital, web, mobile and social media capabilities. The shop is already working on projects for Screen Gems, Cox Communications and Heart and Soul Magazine. The agency is 100% minority-owned.
"Most traditional agencies view the new media as an add-on while most new media shops have no advertising agency experience," says Woodard. "By seamlessly combining traditional and new media services under one roof we are creating something that doesn't exist at this level."
Equally as important not being bound by a non-compete agreement, Woodard is able to pursue former clients. Joining Larry are some executives from Vigilante as well as new hires.
"It's important to note this isn't a winding down," Woodard says, "I intend to pursue blue-chip clients and take this agency to a size and significance that simply can't be achieved by a captive entrepreneurial agency within a network."
Woodard conceived of and implemented the Oprah Car Giveaway heralded by some as being the biggest single day promotion in the history of advertising. Under his leadership Vigilante was twice named the O'Toole Multicultural Agency of the Year and worked for many blue-chip clients including Heineken, Sprint, General Motors and Western Union. The agency was also awarded the Cannes Gold Lion and The Gold Effie. Its work for the USTA is a McGraw-Hill textbook case study.
"Clients need thought leadership and flawless implementation of strategies aimed at moving market share," says Woodard. "I look forward to having only a single objective-the success of the brand we are working on."
Woodard also serves as the Chair of the New York Council of the 4A's and a Director of New York's Advertising Week. He is an on air contributor for ABC News and writes a weekly column for ABCnews.com