Ehsrealtime to create DM Goliath with Brann

By IAN DARBY, campaignlive.co.uk, Friday, 23 November 2001 12:00PM

Havas has confirmed that ehsrealtime and Brann will merge, as

predicted in Campaign last month.



The new agency, called EHS Brann, will employ 400 people and have a

turnover of more than £70 million. It has decided, following

Havas' decision to disband its Diversified Agencies Group, to join the

Arnold Worldwide Partners network.



Havas claims the merger will create the UK's largest direct marketing

agency, but WWAV Rapp Collins London has reported a turnover of £79.3 million for 2000.



Terry Hunt, the ehsrealtime chairman, will chair the new agency. Mike

Horne, the Brann Agency UK's managing director, will be managing

director.



Ehsrealtime's chief executive, Andrew Harris, and executive creative

director, Patrick Collister, will take the same roles at the new

agency.



Louise Wall, the managing director of ehsrealtime, will take on the

reduced role of communications director, while she finishes an MBA.



Hunt and Horne will report to Roy Boss, Brann Worldwide's European

president and chief operating officer. Hunt and Boss stressed that they

had begun talks about a merger last year and that the decision to join

forces is not directly linked to Havas' wider restructure of its DAG

operations.



The merger will be finalised in January. The London offices of the two

companies will merge at EHS's offices. Brann's Cirencester agency and

ehsrealtime's Leeds operation will both be rebranded as EHS Brann.



Brann has separated its call centre and field marketing operations,

which will now be run under the Contact and Ellert brands.



Ehsrealtime is by far the larger agency with 290 of the 400 staff. Boss

said that the merger was an "industry milestone" but admitted that

Brann's London agency had been experiencing problems: "There was a

strategic ambition for Brann London and I don't think it achieved it. It

was a success for its clients but it didn't take off in the way I

expected."



The merger will improve services for clients while providing a solution

to the agency's European ambitions, Hunt said. "By joining Brann's

international presence and DM heritage with ehsrealtime's creative,

planning and digital skills, we will create a formidable service base

for our clients with a global reach through the Brann Worldwide

network."



Boss said that no redundancies were planned as a result of the merger,

which he also said had client backing. There are few possible conflicts,

though ehsrealtime has the BMW account while Brann has Peugeot and

Fiat.



The merger is the second undertaken by EHS in two years. Early in 2000

it merged with the digital agency Real Time to create ehsrealtime.

Ironically, its new creative directors, Brian Storey and Xanthos

Christodoulou, find themselves back in the Brann fold having resigned

from the agency in August.



This article was first published on campaignlive.co.uk

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