Dentsu backs Crossing O’Sullivan consultancy

Dentsu is backing a below-the-line outfit in the UK that will be headed by Peter Crossing, the former chairman of Bates Worldwide’s 141 Communications.

Dentsu is backing a below-the-line outfit in the UK that will be

headed by Peter Crossing, the former chairman of Bates Worldwide’s 141


Crossing, who has more than two decades of below-the-line industry

experience, will be joined by John O’Sullivan, his executive creative

director of seven years.

The two will be equal partners in the new venture, which will be called

Crossing O’Sullivan.

The agency will be nominally aligned with CDP, Dentsu’s largest wholly

owned advertising agency in the UK.

Crossing O’Sullivan has already had discussions with a number of CDP’s

clients. It will initially build its business from that base and then

begin courting independent clients.

Dentsu is thought to have been attracted to the deal partly because of

Crossing’s extensive experience in working with the tobacco


Crossing spent seven years running the BAT account worldwide for 141, as

well as heading the Imperial Tobacco business at the Brompton


Dentsu and CDP have a long-standing relationship with Gallaher.

Crossing O’Sullivan will operate as a consultancy rather than a

traditional executional agency. CDP already has a number of in-house

direct marketing and sales promotion specialists and this resource will

be part of the fledgling agency’s offering.

Chris Macleod, the chief executive of CDP, explained: ’The agency won’t

be replacing our through-the-line capabilities, it will be adding to

them. Strategic consultancy is where the business is going.’

Crossing and O’Sullivan left 141 last year amid management disagreements

following the appointment of Graham Green as the overall chairman of

Bates UK’s below-the-line interests.

Crossing said: ’When we left 141, the criteria we set was to find a

partner that we respected, but which would leave us alone.

With CDP and Dentsu, we have exactly that, combined with access to the

interesting and lucrative business that the international network


Before his seven years at 141, Crossing had his own agency, Crossing

Connors, which was part-owned by Euro RSCG Wnek Gosper. He also launched

the Brompton agency for Lowe Howard-Spink and spent six years at

Saatchis, during which time he helped SPA and worked on the Tory party



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