BBH London closes down direct operation

- Bartle Bogle Hegarty is closing down its 10-year-old direct marketing operation, Limbo, and will bring the staff and a handful of its clients in-house to form a new division of the ad agency.

- Bartle Bogle Hegarty is closing down its 10-year-old direct marketing operation, Limbo, and will bring the staff and a handful of its clients in-house to form a new division of the ad agency.

Limbo's two main clients, Audi and Swinton, will form the backbone of the new division which is yet to be named. The entire account staff for the two companies, from BBH's side as well as Limbo's, will move into the new division. A spokesman said that arrangements for Limbo's remaining clients is "a matter of delicacy"; Limbo has little other business than the two main accounts.

Limbo has a staff numbering around 40, although BBH has insisted that there will be no redundancies as a result of the closure. Staff working on Audi and Swinton will continue their roles, while the remainder will develop the brand in anticipation of new business.

Steve Kershaw, the business development director of BBH will be the managing director of the outfit; Will Awdry, a senior creative at BBH will be the creative director, and Limbo's business development director Juliet Timms will continue in the same role.

"It is not at all the case that Limbo is simply being folded into BBH, and this is not a cost-reducing exercise," Kershaw said. "In this case, one plus one equals three. We, and our clients, have identified a need to combine BBH's skills with Limbo's to provide a total communications solution. We will be targeting the businesses that have direct contact with the customers, such as retailers, airlines and banks."

Awdry added: "Limbo has worked for other clients, but mostly on an ad-hoc basis. There are two or three others that are in the wind for the new division to take on, but we won't be servicing any clients that have their above-the-line requirements serviced elsewhere."



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