That’s not to say that a bunch of freelancers will be overseeing the account. Smashburger will get a dedicated group of three to six people from Partners in Crime, including an account manager, creative director and a strategist.
The arrangement is the latest example of how agencies are using new financial models to win over increasingly cost-conscious clients.
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Partners in Crime replaces Partners & Napier, which Smashburger worked with since 2019. In 2021, Partners & Napier helped Smashburger undergo a brand refresh, including a new logo. The agency was not part of the review process.
Partners in Crime will “focus on research and strategy, brand campaign development, overall awareness, and tactical sales work” for Smashburger, according to a press release. The agency was founded by Stephen Goldblatt, who previously held chief creative and chief digital roles at agencies including West, Mullen Lowe, and Goodby Silverstein & Partners.
Partners in Crime has previously worked with Github, Shutterfly, Indeed and Bank of the West.