Droga5 Sydney to close

Sarah Homewood
By Sarah Homewood | 9 September 2015

Droga5 Sydney is shutting its doors just months after the agency came out swinging saying it was focusing on getting back on track.

In July the agency figurehead and creative chairman David Nobay came out admitting the agency had faults, however he was adamant that it was preparing for the future, saying at the time that he was 100% “in” when it came to the business.

However, today it has been confirmed that the agency will be closing its doors at the end of the year, with it not yet clear how the agency will wind-up. 

David Droga, creative chairman and founder of Droga5 said: "This was obviously a very difficult decision, both professionally and personally, and as a proud Australian, it was a bitter pill to swallow.”

“However, we see little value in continuing to operate in this market with an office that, sadly, no longer consistently represents the Droga5 brand.

"Despite world-class local management and many talented individuals working hard, the Sydney office has floundered over the past few years. Some of it was self-inflicted, some of it bad luck and some of it just the befuddling local advertising market. Regardless, we aren’t a company that measures its success by the number of its offices, but rather by the creative output, positive influence and culture of each office.”

The agency recently had to re-evaluate after the news broke that it's respected ECD Steve Coll was leaving the business for With Collective.

Nobay said at the time: “After 20 years as an executive creative director in Sydney, New York and London, I was itching to try some things outside the immediate industry. However, what Sudeep, David Droga and I also acknowledged this year is that it’s also impossible to be half-pregnant. The business is moving and changing too quickly to not be across every part of it. You’re either 100% out or 100% in. I chose the latter.”

Just a few short months ago Droga also stood behind the remaining Sydney team saying: “Eight years ago I chose Nobby to front my first agency outside of New York,” Droga said. “I did that for a simple reason: I respected his creative and business talent as a world-leader, who shared my ambitions for the company. Eight years later that faith hasn’t shifted. But he needed to be more focused. He now recognises that. And that’s all I need to know.”

The agency has been going through a tough 18 months with several staff leaving the agency and clients such as Woolworths, Qantas, Telstra and Toyota leaving the agency.

Sarah Thompson, Droga5’s Global CEO, commented that the agency still achieves strong growth in the U.S., and is focusing on creating a "worldclass leadership team in Europe while simultaneously exploring potential models of offerings in China"  as its two key priorities outside the U.S market.

The agency was started by Australian advertising wonderboy David Droga, who in 2006, started his own agency Droga5 in New York City.

Droga5 New York has been named US Agency of the Year five times (2007, 2011, 2012 and 2014) and made Advertising Age’s Agency A-List in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014.

Its Sydney agency never experienced the same success, and struggled to recover after it lost one of its biggest clients Woolworths last year. 

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