Former WPP exec George Rogers joins small agency The Fantastical

The ex-Team Detroit head has signed on as the Boston creative shop’s chief operating officer and managing partner.

Former WPP exec George Rogers joins small agency The Fantastical

After years in top roles at a string of major global ad agencies, WPP and MullenLowe veteran George Rogers has made the move to a small-scale shop, joining Boston-based agency and brand consultancy The Fantastical as its new chief operating officer and managing partner.

“Since the past 10 to 12 years or so, I’m sort of not involved in the work anymore. I’m involved in clients and negotiations and the business side of the business, but I love the work,” says Rogers, whose new role is effective immediately but who has worked in conjunction with The Fantastical’s team since February. “It’s an opportunity to be much closer to the work.”

Rogers is joining the shop as the self-described “third leg of the stool” alongside its founding partners Michael Ancevic and Steve Mietelski; the trio have known each other since the early 2000s, Rogers says, and have “stayed in touch ever since.”

“I think we have complementary skill sets,” Rogers adds. “This is a chance to increase the business capability and business acumen of the company. They’re interested in growing and taking this to the next level. I have a track record of growth and a track record of scaling, and that’s the kind of stuff these guys want to do.” 

“Michael (Ancevic) and I have been friends and colleagues with George for a long time," Mietelski says of Rogers. "Having him come on board as a partner feels more like bringing the band back together than adding a new member."

He and Ancevic will remain at the creative helm of the agency, with Rogers fostering client relationships and brand building, Mietelski says.

The Fantastical, founded in 2012, has relationships with a number of brands in the travel and hospitality spaces, including hotelier White Elephant Resorts, TripAdvisor and the Friendly’s restaurant chain. While it has previously undertaken work for major brands from Volkswagen to the International Olympic Committee, Rogers says the agency’s long-term goal is “to have more enduring relationships with clients” and “more retained business.”

Part of that transition will be expanding beyond its current subset of hospitality clients and venturing into areas including technology, health care and automotive, “where I obviously have a tremendous amount of background,” Rogers says. 

Rogers was a longstanding executive at WPP, first joining the media holding company in 2005 and being named president and CEO of its Team Detroit—now known as Global Team Blue, or GTB—the following year. Team Detroit famously serviced the North American creative needs of Ford, then WPP’s single largest client, retaining the automaker since the days when Henry Ford ran the show. (Just as famously, Ford ditched the bulk of that 75-year partnership for BBDO following a 2018 media review.)

In 2011, Rogers transitioned into another executive position at WPP, becoming its director of global business development and overseeing successful creative pitches for clients including MillerCoors, United Airlines, Bank of America and Pfizer.

Before that, Rogers held an executive VP and group director role at MullenLowe U.S., which followed his early career at Boston’s Arnold Worldwide. In more recent years, he served on the boards of Vice Media Group, Refinery29 and Ace Metrix.