J. Walter Thompson's new- media division is breaking away from the main agency and setting up as a stand-alone digital consultancy.
Jeremy Davis, until now the director in charge of NTL and Handbag.com at JWT, will become the managing director of Digital@JWT as part of the development.
The move accompanies the news that Digital@JWT, which has operated as a subsidiary of JWT for the past four months, has won the digital consultancy business from the Post Office this week. The organisation is looking to improve its online services, which include sites for the Royal Mail and Parcelforce.
The consultancy's biggest current project is a joint venture between Deloitte & Touche and the law firm Berwin Leighton, which will be an online legal and accountancy service called 'Be Professional'. It also handles web strategy for Kellogg.
Tim Hayward, the director of strategy at Digital@JWT, said: 'We are going to be an independent new-economy brand consultancy backed by JWT. Seventy-five per cent of our clients are outside of the JWT main agency. We have years of brand experience to leverage in this area, and the ability to do it. Our business model is built on doing this type of work.'
JWT recently announced a pan-European strategic alliance with the web agency Syzygy, which will service the digital needs of the main agency' s existing clients.
Earlier this year, Digital@JWT hired Simon Drinkwater, the former business development manager at the internet currency company Beenz.com, as its head of partnerships and alliances.
Since then, the agency has taken on Sally Burrell, previously the brand director at Letsbuyit.com, as a senior consultant.
Hayward said that although JWT has set up Digital@JWT as a global brand, each division will be managed separately. Although the digital agency will focus on consultancy in the UK, branches of the agency in other parts of the world will develop other strengths, such as production or web design.