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A New Agency Model is Born

By: Sarah Musgrove


In January of 2018, Jenn and I reconnected. It was in that coffee meeting, literally sitting on a bench in Hermosa Beach, that we both started fantasizing about fixing the broken agency model. We wanted an agency model where everyone wins. One coffee turned into several and each time we left with the same task, to socialize this idea to people in the industry and see if we were on to something.

Jay Lenstrom, former global Omnicom CEO was one of these trusted individuals. After hearing the concept for the company, he abruptly pulled over and sent the below email from his phone (be kind on grammar, it was on the fly!).

Two years later and, it still gets us fired up!

We are the bench. We are doing things differently. We entered the arena with the highest quality talent and are here for you in good times and bad.


Bench, Hermosa Beach

On Mar 9, 2018, at 7:03 PM, Jay Lenstrom wrote:

Think about this.

If you had a company that consisted of winners… athletes and artists that are the best at their crafts. Proven experience and millions of $$ of sales (if not billions…true story for many of us) They all have one thing in common, they know the current agency model is broken.

Hmm. What do you do?

Two days ago North Carolina trailed Miami in the conference playoffs by 14–0. Coach Roy Williams (Hall of Famer) pulled the starting 5 and put in 5 from the BENCH! The BENCH went on 14–3 run and wound up leading NC to victory. Why?

The BENCH was not the arrogant, pampered, complacent, thinking “ I am already a star”. It did not consist of guys that assumed they would win because they can simply show up. The BENCH was hungry and knew they got “ONE SHOT” to deliver their best work. If they didn’t they are back on the BENCH.

In theater, my daughter did not get the lead her senior year in theater…so she was “on the bench” and took a lower role but worked her butt off. Her photo is now in her High School’s Theater Hall Of Fame next to Vince Vaughn. Why? She busted her butt to prove she was the deserving!! She took nothing for granted.

Get the theme of the BENCH?

The current agency model is broken. It is fueling burn out and nobody likes to work with tired assholes. The top is heavy while they bring 7 people to meetings because no single person can be held accountable! I have seen that and maybe accused of that.

Today clients demand and deserve more! They want the fighting spirit and tenacity of the BENCH!!! They want players that will give it all, fight till the end, never “mail it in”, every player contributes, all about TEAM, victory goes to the client, they don’t want to win awards, they simply want to WIN their client’s hearts/minds!! They want to go to bed at night knowing they “gave it all they had”.

That is the BENCH.

The BENCH is the future of marketing. The BENCH is based in S Cal.

The BENCH has huge clients asking them to help them break thru the morass of the agency world.

Steve Jobs challenged his team to “Dent the World”. I believe a company called BENCH can do that.

Next steps:

Clients give an RFP to THE BENCH

THE BENCH kills it in 5 days with 50% of normal agency fees, total transparency and a performance bonus at the end based on results!!!

Client is happy!

Client gives BENCH another RFP. The BENCH nails it again.

Client refers another top tier client to the BENCH.

Founders of the BENCH reject $3 million buyout.

Have a pizza/beer party and go back to work.

The BENCH holds true to the promise of “not the biggest but the best” and “you get one shot”.

And for clients……the BENCH is who they turn to in times of crisis.

In baseball…. the CLOSER…the Pitcher that is paid the big bucks to win the big games.

Where does he sit for 8 innings …thriving on the pressure?

The BENCH!!!

Lets talk Monday am.

Drop the mic!


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