Bates purchase upsets key staff

Bates Dorland was this week confronting internal opposition over its acquisition of a below-the-line consultancy as the catalyst for its transformation into a single integrated agency.

Bates Dorland was this week confronting internal opposition over

its acquisition of a below-the-line consultancy as the catalyst for its

transformation into a single integrated agency.



Senior executives at Bates Communications, the group’s direct marketing

subsidiary, are angry at the purchase of Blue Skies and installation of

its boss, Graham Green, as group vice-chairman.



Graham Hinton, the Bates Dorland chairman, who will head the merged

operation, insisted nobody had threatened to resign. But he conceded:

’There will be fall-out. Change isn’t always popular and some people are

having their noses put out of joint.’



Some Bates Communications staff are said to feel aggrieved that their

operation, one of the group’s biggest success stories since its relaunch

two years ago, is to be subsumed into a single communications company

with one bottom line and board of directors. They are understood to

believe that Marcus Evans, their managing director, should have Green’s

place on the group board.



But Hinton said: ’Although we have some very good people who feel they

have been passed over by bringing in someone else, the fact is that

Graham brings us something we don’t already have. I have never changed

my view about the direction we must take.’



The restructure also involves dropping the Dorland name, which has been

part of the UK ad scene for 94 years.



The group will be rechristened Bates UK and will unite the Bates Dorland

agency, the promotions company, 141 - to be renamed Blue Skies 141 -

Bates Communications and Bates Interactive.



More than 400 of the group’s staff were told of the restructure on

Wednesday morning by Hinton.



He claimed the change was aimed at creating a ’genuinely neutral and

propaganda-free management team’.



’The industry will change more in the next five years than it has done

in the previous 30 and we have to be flexible enough to take advantage

of it,’ Hinton explained.



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