CLOSE-UP PERSPECTIVE: Why Mellors Reay and Grey would be a logical marriage

Take a large portion of ambition, a pinch of frustration, a high-profile management team at a small agency and a big agency lacking management and creative profile. Stir until ready to boil, add a measure of financial stock-taking, get the story on Campaign’s front page (last week) and you end up with a lot of concerned staff (for which we can only apologise) and a good chance of Mellors Reay folding into its parent agency, Grey.

Take a large portion of ambition, a pinch of frustration, a

high-profile management team at a small agency and a big agency lacking

management and creative profile. Stir until ready to boil, add a measure

of financial stock-taking, get the story on Campaign’s front page (last

week) and you end up with a lot of concerned staff (for which we can

only apologise) and a good chance of Mellors Reay folding into its

parent agency, Grey.



It’s a potentially mouthwatering dish. If you accept the notion that a

good part of the creative director’s job is marketing an agency to

potential clients, then Tim Mellors is the man to put some colour into

Grey’s London office. He has a proven track record and has raised his

profile further as a popular D&AD president. With a career that spans

Saatchis, Publicis and the gargantuan task of replacing Dave Trott at

GGT, Mellors is better and happier in big agencies. They seem to fulfil

his deep personal need for recognition.



Carol Reay, meanwhile, would make a superb chairman for Grey - sorry, I

can’t stand politically correct words such as chairperson - working with

new managing director, Steve Blamer.



While it is certainly no creative flier, observers point to Mellors Reay

as a well-run agency with a sound financial record. A glance at

Companies House figures reveals that in the year to September 1997, it

recorded gross income of pounds 4,105,595, profit before tax of pounds

773,437 and had 43 staff.



In 1996, the figures were pounds 4,115,190, pounds 728,978 and 45 - a

small decline in staff numbers and in-come masking a profit margin on

income of 18.8 per cent, more than three times the industry average of

6.2 per cent.



If the merger does take place, Grey’s powerful chief, Ed Meyer, has two

choices. Either Grey London can build on its position within the network

as a multinational cash cow, churning out steady work for unsexy clients

such as Procter & Gamble and British American Tobacco. Or it could jump

more forcefully into the local fray, setting Mellors the task of hiring

first-rate talent and competing - let’s be optimistic - with the likes

of BMP DDB and Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO.



Sceptics may doubt that Grey could ever raise its creative profile to

this extent because the multinational route is its forte. And although

having a client list with nigh-on 100 multinational clients doesn’t

necessarily mean that the bulk of an agency’s work consists of

lowest-common-denominator work - well, it often does.



Inevitably, Grey will encounter conflict problems if the merger does

take place. After all, that’s how Mellors Reay, in a previous

incarnation, ended up with the consolation prize of P&G’s Pringles and

lost Kleenex.



But the merger has the distinct appearance of one that makes too much

sense not to happen.



Topics

Become a member of Campaign from just £46 a quarter

Get the very latest news and insight from Campaign with unrestricted access to campaignlive.co.uk ,plus get exclusive discounts to Campaign events

Become a member

Looking for a new job?

Get the latest creative jobs in advertising, media, marketing and digital delivered directly to your inbox each day.

Create an Alert Now

Partner content

Share

1 Job description: Digital marketing executive

Digital marketing executives oversee the online marketing strategy for their organisation. They plan and execute digital (including email) marketing campaigns and design, maintain and supply content for the organisation's website(s).