Blair and Fowles to form start-up from Riggs agency ruins

Two senior London admen are linking in an agency start-up that has already begun to hunt for new business across the South of England.

Two senior London admen are linking in an agency start-up that has

already begun to hunt for new business across the South of England.



The new venture brings together David Fowles, the one-time chief

executive of Hall Harrison Cowley in Bristol, and Duncan Blair, the

ex-managing director of the former Grey South agency in Bournemouth.



Fowles was previously a senior manager at Euro RSCG, DMB&B and

McCann-Erickson, while Blair’s career includes spells at Saatchi and

Saatchi and BMP DDB.



Their start-up - to be called Blair Fowles Advertising - is being

created out of the former Riggs agency, which was plunged into crisis

when its pounds 3 million Stannah lifts account, representing 40 per

cent of its business, moved to Osprey RMA (Campaign, 13 September

1996).



As a result, the Riggs office in Southampton has closed, with Riggs

staffers forming the basis of the new 17-strong shop whose base will be

in Winchester, with a subsidiary operation in Bristol.



The establishment of Blair Fowles comes 22 months after Fowles quit Hall

Harrison. It also follows his abortive attempt to take over Hall

Harrison’s advertising interests in Bristol, which were sold in July

1995 to MSL, the specialist recruitment group.



The new agency begins life with claimed billings of up to pounds 2

million and a client list which includes Coutts and Co, and Bournemouth

International Airport. Media buying will be handled by TCS Media in

London.



’We realise this is going to be a big challenge,’ said Fowles, whose

agreement preventing him soliciting Hall Harrison clients has

expired.



’But there’s no reason why we can’t become a very good out-of-London

agency.’



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