Cut to the Chase with Bill Milkereit of Poke The Bear | Ep.1 (pt.2)-Starting a New Ad Agency

Cut to the Chase with Bill Milkereit of Poke The Bear | Ep.1 (pt.2)-Starting a New Ad Agency

Starting A New Ad Agency

Cut to the Chase is an RSW/US interview series that delivers brief, but impactful views from ad agency principals and business development leaders on growth strategies and the challenges that come with it in today’s weird, evolving landscape.

(Part 1 of Lee McKnight’s interview with Bill Milkereit can be found here.)

Brief background: In the Fall of 2020, Bill Milkereit and Todd Tucker never thought they would be starting a new ad agency.

They were group head/creative director and creative group head, respectively, at the Richards Group in Dallas, the largest independently-owned agency in the country at the time.

They created some of the county’s most well-known ad campaigns-the cows for Chick-fil-A, the resurrection of the Fruit Guys at Fruit of the Loom, “Let’s Do This” for Home Depot, and “It Just Means More” for the SEC (Southeastern Conference).

And then it happened-The Richards Group was thrown into turmoil in front of the ad world, making national news.

While Bill and Todd were not involved in that event, like so many other Richards Group employees at the time, they had a decision to make.

After decades of memorable work and honing their craft, the last thing they were thinking about was starting a new agency.

This is the topic of episode 1 of our new RSW interview series, Cut To The Chase.

Lee and Bill cover the path that lead to Poke The Bear, a bizarre client story, the challenges of pitching in today’s world, what lies ahead for their new agency, and a few pieces of key advice on starting a new agency and pitching in today’s world.

Bill’s an intelligent and funny interview, but above all he is deeply passionate about his creative work-we hope you enjoy the interview.

In this episode, Bill talks:

-Something he never expected: starting over

-What agency life was initially like post-Richards group

-Why they decided to start the agency now

-One piece of advice for anyone thinking of starting an agency

-His take on WFH from an agency perspective

-What does growth look like for PTB-how big do they want to be?

-How agency pitching has changed in the past 3-5 years

-One thing to never say in a pitch

-One piece of advice on pitching today

-And one piece of advice for marketers to make agency relationships better