Andrew Essex

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Andrew Essex
BornMay 1965
Brooklyn, NY[1]
EducationNew York University, M.A
OccupationJournalist, author, businessman
Years active1988-present
Known forDroga5, Tribeca Film Festival, Plan A
Notable work
The End of Advertising: Why It Had to Die, and the Creative Resurrection to Come[2]
WebsiteAndrew Essex Biography

Andrew Essex (born 1965) is an American business executive, journalist, and author based in New York City.[3][4] He is the coufounder of creative marketing services company, Plan A, along with MT Carney.[5]

Essex is the former Chief Executive Officer of Tribeca Enterprises, the parent company of Tribeca Film Festival.[5][6] Until 2015, he was the chairman and founding CEO of Droga5,[7] the creative advertising agency that won multiple awards under his tenure and was frequently commended for its innovative campaigns.[8][9][10]

Essex is a frequent public speaker on media and marketing strategies. He is an angel investor, public speaker, educator, and advisor and board member to multiple platforms.[11]

Early life[edit]

Essex holds a Bachelor of Arts degree [12] and a Master of Arts degree in American literature from New York University.[13] He began his career as a journalist and wrote pieces for The New Yorker in the 1990s.[14] Later, he held editorial posts at Entertainment Weekly, as well as The New Yorker[15] and served as a consultant for the launch of US Weekly magazine.[16]


In 2000, Essex joined Details magazine as the executive editor and oversaw the magazine’s branding of the metrosexual phenomenon.[17] In 2002, while looking for advertising executives to include in Details magazine's annual power list, he met David Droga who was then the worldwide creative director of agency Publicis Worldwide. In 2004, Essex left Details magazine and became the editor in chief of Absolute, a luxury magazine. During Essex's tenure at Absolute, Droga and Essex kept in touch and often shared their views on how their respective industries were flawed. After working for several years, both wanted to start an entrepreneurial venture so they began working on ideas. Essex left Absolute in 2005 and the next year the two founded Droga5, an advertising agency.[18]

Shortly after joining Droga5, Essex was named its CEO. Under his leadership, the agency created UNICEF Tap Project and The Great Schlep of 2008. Both of the campaigns received significant media coverage and were commended for their ingenuity.[19] In April 2013, Essex became the Vice Chairman of Droga5 after serving as CEO for five years.[20] He stepped down from the position of Vice Chairman and left the company in July 2015.[21]

In January 2016, Essex joined Tribeca Enterprises as its CEO.[22] In October 2017, Essex stepped down as CEO of Tribeca Enterprises.[23]

As of 2018 Essex sits on the board of the American Advertising Federation,[24] Plus Pool, the iHeart Media Creative Advisory Counsel,[25] and iPic Entertainment.[26][27][28]

Plan A[edit]

In 2018 Essex founded creative holding company Plan A along with CEO and cofounder MT Carney.[29] Plan A, a federation of agencies, merged firms Van’s General Store, Untitled Worldwide, Twin Studio, and Beekman Social for a combined $70 million in revenues. Essex recruited CAA founder Michael Ovitz along with Ben Lerer, Alexis Ohanian and Michael Kassan as investors and advisors. Regarding Essex’s combined firm, Ovitz said: "I've always made my decisions based on two factors: intellectual analysis and my gut. When they meet that's a go for me." Plan A later added Badger & Winters and several other creative marketing firms.[29][30]


Essex is author of “The End of Advertising: Why It Had to Die and the Creative Resurrection to Come” and the co-author of three books: A Very Public Offering: The Story of the, Chasing Cool, with former Barney’s CEO Gene Pressman, and Le Freak: An Upside Down Story of Family, Disco and Destiny, with musician Nile Rodgers.[31]


Essex is a frequent public speaker on media, marketing and monetization strategies.[32][33] He is an angel investor in many technology firms and serves as an advisor to the White House Office of Digital Strategy and the Wharton SEI Center for Advanced Studies in Management.[34]

Essex has served as a television commentator for ABC, CNN, Anderson Cooper, The View and FOX News. His writing has been published in The New Yorker, The New York Times, The New York Times Magazine, Rolling Stone, Outside and several other magazines. He has co-authored four books: A Very Public Offering: The Story of the, Chasing Cool, with Gene Pressman, Le Freak: An Upside Down Story of Family, Disco and Destiny, with Nile Rodgers and "The End of Advertising: Why It Had to Die, and the Creative Resurrection to Come" [35]

Personal life[edit]

Essex lives with his wife and two children in Dumbo, Brooklyn in New York City.


  • A Very Public Offering: The Story of the
  • Chasing Cool with Gene Pressman
  • Le Freak: An Upside Down Story of Family, Disco and Destiny with Nile Rodgers
  • The End of Advertising: Why It Had to Die, and the Creative Resurrection to Come

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "Former journalist plans to transform Tribeca Film Festival into a year-round affair".
  2. ^ "Toasting the Ad Industry and a Book Predicting Its Doom". The New York Times. Retrieved 20 November 2018.
  3. ^ "Why an Advertising Pioneer Says Advertising Is Dead". Inc. Retrieved 20 November 2018.
  4. ^ "'The robots won': how Plan A's Essex and Carney look to re-humanize the agency model". The Drum. Retrieved 20 November 2018.
  5. ^ a b "Former Droga5 and Disney Executives Form New Ad Holding Company". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 30 October 2018.
  6. ^ "Tribeca Enterprises Taps Andrew Essex as CEO".
  7. ^ "Droga5 Sells Stake to Talent Agency William Morris Endeavor".
  8. ^ "Agency of the Year: A Maturing Droga5 Still Hasn't Lost Its Edge".
  9. ^ "Perfect Pitch: How Droga5 Is Making Ads You Can't Ignore".
  10. ^ "Making a Big Splash, Plus Adam and Eve in Camelot".
  11. ^ "Andrew Essex Out as Tribeca Enterprises CEO". The Wrap. Retrieved 20 November 2018.
  12. ^ "Tribeca Enterprises Taps Andrew Essex as CEO".
  13. ^ "Andrew Essex Named CEO Of Tribeca Enterprises".
  14. ^ "Former journalist plans to transform Tribeca Film Festival into a year-round affair".
  15. ^ "Droga5 Veteran Andrew Essex Named CEO of Tribeca Enterprises".
  16. ^ "CEO of Tribeca Enterprises and former CEO of world-renowned creative agency Droga5".
  18. ^ "The New Don Drapers: Hollywood Comes Calling for Droga5".
  19. ^ "Andrew Essex - CEO Tribeca Enterprises".
  20. ^ "Andrew Essex Biography".
  21. ^ "David Droga Talks Management Moves".
  22. ^ "Tribeca Film Festival Company Names Andrew Essex Chief Executive". The New York Times. Retrieved 20 November 2018.
  23. ^ "Andrew Essex Steps Down As CEO Of Tribeca Enterprises".
  24. ^ "Who We Are".
  25. ^ "Berlin School and Clear Channel Launch Competition for Leadership in Audio Innovation - Winner Receives Full-Tuition Scholarship To Attend Berlin School Global EMBA Program".
  26. ^ "Board Advisors".
  27. ^ "Meet Andrew Essex, Co-founder and Chairman of Droga 5".
  28. ^ "IPic names new board member". South Florida Business Journal. Retrieved 29 November 2018.
  29. ^ a b "Former Droga5 CEO and Untitled Worldwide Founder Form New Holding Company". AdWeek. Retrieved 20 November 2018.
  30. ^ "New Ad-Holding Company Plan A Buys Badger & Winters". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 18 December 2018.
  31. ^ "Le Freak: An Upside Down Story of Family, Disco and Destiny, by Nile Rodgers – review". The Guardian. Retrieved 20 November 2018.
  32. ^ "Cannes Lions Presentation: Andrew Essex Raves and Mades New Creativity Standards for the Future".
  34. ^ "PAPER TO PIXELS: Who is Andrew Essex?".
  35. ^ "Droga5's Andrew Essex: Marketers 'Need to Produce Premium Content'".