7.7.23 | read time: 5 min
How the History of the Agency Shaped Our Philosophical Approach
116 & West
The 116 & West story began in the spring of 1998 with a core philosophy: agencies could and should have better relationships with media and production vendors. We begin at Chapter 1: the founding of Marketing Media Group (MMG) by 116 & West founder Edward Moore.
This philosophy was born from Edward’s experience calling on agencies as a media rep for six years, and his brief stint at a startup agency attempting to “broker” media relationships. Edward felt strongly that through transparency, kindness, and long-term thinking, agencies could be both agnostic in their media planning, negotiating, and buying and develop strong, long-term, and friendly relationships with media partners. As a visionary leader, Edward could see how this philosophical differentiator could be the foundation of an agency that did things differently.
How Our Agency Core Values Built Our Business
Part I: Kindness
The core values we have as an agency today are a direct result of 25 years in the industry. We’ve discovered that collaborating with media and production vendors helps to understand where and how they might find a win in each negotiation. Simply put, media negotiations do not have to be a zero-sum game in which, in order for one party to win, the other party must lose. This philosophy quickly became one of our core values, and today, it’s simply: Be Kind. Every interaction is met with honesty, respect, and kindness, with the ultimate goal of solving marketing problems that are mutually beneficial for all parties. This has informed how we approach client partnerships and is a plausible explanation for the longevity of our relationships.
Part II: Accountability
Our second core value supports the depth of these relationships. Our commitment to Doing the Right Thing underscores our transparency with clients and partners, ensuring decisions are made with integrity. This core value drives accountability, positivity, and humility.
Part III: Intentional Effort
The blood, sweat, and tears we put into our work represent the foundation of another of our core values. We don’t take the easy route, and we don’t fall victim to idea lock. This is partly due to a third core philosophy that has driven the agency since its inception – the idea of strategy before creative. Sometimes it takes extra work and requires more discipline, but our team values Displaying Intentional Effort.
We recognize that much of the ROI our clients will see from any ad campaign results from the strategic insights developed after appropriate research. Breakthrough creative solutions and efficient media placement are necessary for a campaign, but the strategy driving those recommendations ties directly to its effectiveness.
Part IV: Collaboration Is Key Within an Advertising Agency
In 2009, after the economic recession of the previous year, MMG seized an opportunity to acquire a competitor and bought the original and longest-running Idaho advertising agency, Davies Rourke. As part of the acquisition strategy, MMG rebranded as DaviesMoore. The rebrand was an opportunity to reposition the agency from a plucky young start-up to an established stalwart. This acquisition allowed us to lean into the experience of the previous agency and learn from their decades of work in Idaho. Over the ensuing decade, DaviesMoore successfully repositioned itself from a Boise agency to a statewide firm providing advertising services across Idaho.
This collaboration taught us that we are stronger together, which is why to this day, we Collaborate for Great Work. It’s a core value within our walls, relying on each other to strengthen our strategies and initiatives. Being open to feedback and unafraid to ask questions allows us to be honest and learn from each other.
Predictable Success Becomes a Reality
Around this same time in the business, we began working with a key business advisor and author, Les McKeown. His book, Predictable Success put the lifecycle of the agency in context and gave us a better awareness of our individuality and how we can best work together. Specifically, he helped us identify the value of a “Visionary-Operator” partnership when scaling our business. In 2010 the DaviesMoore ownership structure changed when Carolyn Lodge, our then-executive vice president, became a partner. As a strong operator to complement Edward’s vision, Carolyn added advertising agency operational duties to her responsibilities, eventually becoming COO. Three years ago, we rebranded to 116 & West-A Moore Lodge Co., reflecting the 10-year mark of Carolyn’s partnership and our position as a northwest agency of distinction with a strong presence in Boise, Seattle, Portland, and Eugene.
Westies Go West…to Spokane
Shortly after the rebrand, 116 & West began acquisition discussions with Klündt Hosmer, a design firm in Spokane, WA, with a 35-year history. Spokane is a greenfield with striking similarities to Boise’s growth a decade ago.
With closed offices due to the pandemic and an uncertain economy, initial discussions took nearly a year, and due diligence another six months. We officially closed the purchase of Klündt Hosmer on July 1, 2022, and rebranded this team in Spokane to be included within 116 & West. The acquisition was a milestone toward our continued desire to position 116 & West as a powerhouse advertising agency in the Pacific Northwest.
The Final Core Value and Our Future
While we are keenly aware that neither Boise nor Spokane boasts a diverse population, we clearly see that our various backgrounds lead to a joyous cohesiveness. Our final core value, the commitment to Lead with Inclusive Energy, continues to be a priority as we seek diversity in partnerships, team members, and initiatives. We pursue partnerships with organizations that promote inclusivity and equity. To us, that means inclusivity across all elements of humanity – race, gender, ability, religion, sexual orientation, or gender identity.
We can trace our core values back to pivotal moments in the advertising agency’s history and stand proud with the team and philosophies at the heart of 116 & West today. We’ve learned to be nimble and to pivot when faced with challenges. All the experiences along the way have reinforced the path Edward charted over 25 years ago, and we’re confident our vision and core values have prepared us for whatever adventure lies ahead.