Con Frantzeskos, Grant Farrelly & David Rigbye - Penso

What began as a conversation among three ad men – marketing planner Con Frantzeskos, design expert Grant Farrelly and digital talent David Rigbye – has taken shape as a creative communications and digital innovations agency, Penso. The official launch is marked with a list of partners such as Noodle Box, Collingwood Football Club, CUB and Stereosonic. Also, on the back of a competitive global pitch, Penso is now the global digital agency of record for Dubai-based aviation company dnata, a part of the Emirates Group.

If solving business problems for marketers is the core function of an agency, and marketing, communication and channel management are ways in which these issues are resolved, why not combine them? Or more simply, why can’t an agency be great at digital and creative? Questions such as these formed the raison d’être for the agency.

The three ad professionals worked together with clients such as Coles, ANZ and Origin Energy and bring considerable experience to the table. Mr Frantzeskos joined Ogilvy as Asia Pacific Digital Strategy Director in Singapore, Mr Farrelly as a talented London-based web designer working with British Telecom and Mr Rigbye as Head of Digital at Redhanded Communications.

By late 2012, with Mr Frantzeskos as CEO and Founder, Mr Farrelly as Head of Product and Design and Mr Rigbye as head of Client Services and Production, Penso was set up. As a global agency, Penso has presence in Dubai, Singapore, the US, New Zealand and Australia.

“In a non-arrogant way, we thought we can do better. We knew we could build a culture of really smart people. We knew we could do creative and digital. It’s about solving business problems using great, memorable creative and world class digital execution,” Mr Frantzeskos said.

That ambition has become a reality with the launch of Penso. Being channel agnostic is one Penso’s key talking points, as the lead team believes this to be a solution that marketers are looking for.

“There are two big problems with creative agencies. They want to treat advertising campaigns as OPM – other people’s money – or a platform to win awards. They don’t respect the business or have any real interest in sales or how business is going. Some are actually blindly ignorant to that. By default, the first problem gives rise to the second, which is a lack of focus and proficiency when it comes to digital. We address the problem first before deciding the communications and channel to use,” added Mr Frantzeskos.

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