Amp'd founder in WMA co-venture

Agency 3.0 specializes in digital distribution strategy

The CEO behind one of digital media's most spectacular flameouts is rising from the ashes.

Peter Adderton, whose Amp'd Mobile declared bankruptcy and shut its doors in July despite attracting $360 million in funding, has resurfaced as chairman and CEO of a new digital-minded firm being launched along with William Morris Agency.

Dubbed Agency 3.0, the venture aims to help consumer brands or packaged goods companies map out a digital distribution strategy as well as technology companies in need of branding support.

It's the kind of services Adderton said he learned at Amp'd, which managed to draw 100,000 subs and spawned a shortform video program, "Lil' Bush," that became a Comedy Central series.

"We know what can go wrong, and if you're a client in the digital space, I'm not going to make the same mistakes twice," said Adderton, who faulted the demise of Amp'd on the challenges inherent to the multiple virtual network operator market. "When you look at what Amp'd did extremely well, that's the area we're staying at and specializing in."

"We've always been impressed with Peter as a creator and a businessman," WMA chairman and CEO Jim Wiatt said.

WMA has been stepping up its efforts in the digital space as of late. In March, the agency announced the formation of a venture capital fund together with Accel Partners, Venrock ands AT&T. Agency 3.0, however, is not connected to the fund; WMA did not disclose how much it will invest in the venture.

Adderton said Agency 3.0 already has signed up clients but would not identify any yet. He did reveal that some of the same companies that initially funded Amp'd were clients, a list that could include Viacom, Universal Music Group and Columbia Capital Equity Partners.

Another likely source of clients for Agency 3.0 are the corporations WMA already services, including General Motors, Anheuser-Busch and Starbucks.

Agency 3.0, which will be housed in WMA's offices, also will be led by partners Greg Johnson, founder of the Interpublic Emerging Media Lab; Steve Stanford, who launched defunct Internet entertainment company Icebox; and Scott Anderson, who co-founded Amp'd and Boost Mobile with Adderton.