Four senior executives at Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO - led by its
vice-chairman Jeremy Miles - are behind the first breakaway in the
agency’s 21-year history.
Miles, an AMV staffer for two decades, is establishing the start-up
along with Helen Calcraft, AMV’s business development director, and the
award-winning senior creatives, Paul Briginshaw and Malcolm Duffy.
AMV may take a stake in the new venture in which David Abbott, AMV’s
former creative guru, will make a private investment as well as being
But Miles insisted that the start-up - to be called Miles Calcraft
Briginshaw Duffy - will not be ’AMV mark II’.
The new venture, which the partners are financing themselves, starts
with a blank client list. It is expected to take on business unable to
be handled by AMV because it is either too small or conflicting,
although Miles insisted: ’We will not be a dumping ground.’
Miles is a former board account director on AMV’s BT and Sainsbury’s
business, but has found his promotion path blocked by the current
management team. ’I’ve always relished the idea of starting an agency,’
’I’m nervous about it, but very excited.’
The start-up has echoes of a 1993 plan by AMV to set up a group of its
senior managers, along with the former AMV creatives, Robert Campbell
and Mark Roalfe, in a new agency to handle conflicting business.
The idea, which came to nothing, was mooted as a contingency plan should
Leagas Delaney, then AMV’s second-string agency, buy itself out of the
group. Leagas Delaney was sold to its management last year for pounds 4
The new operation has found offices in central London and expects to
open for business next month. Media arrangements are still under
discussion, but Miles said the agency would possibly draw on the AMV
group’s media-buying resources.
The start-up was announced to AMV staff on Wednesday by Michael Baulk,
the chief executive. He said: ’In many ways, it’s the mark of a great
agency that it can encourage its talented people to grow and, if they
decide to build their future elsewhere, can wish them well.’