Grey is merging with its Mellors Reay subsidiary in a move that
will propel Tim Mellors into the creative top spot at the parent
The two agencies called their staff together on Wednesday afternoon to
announce the marriage, which was exclusively forecast by Campaign in
Mellors and his partner, Carol Reay, will join Grey’s senior management
team comprising Steve Blamer, who switches from managing director to
chief executive officer, and Clare Rossi, Grey’s planning chief, who
becomes chief planning officer.
Paul Smith, Grey’s executive creative director for the past four years,
is a victim of the merger and it is believed that more than 20 other
jobs will be lost.
Chris King, the Mellors Reay managing director, becomes a group managing
director alongside Barry Cox, Jayne Barr and Steve Richards.
As deputy chairman, Reay will head Grey’s new-business drive and oversee
an internal agency restructure.
The merger - due to be complete by Christmas - creates a top five agency
with combined claimed billings of more than pounds 300 million and no
immediate client conflicts.
It also answers Grey’s desire to install a top-flight creative leader
and acknowledges the belief of the Grey management that, although the
four-year-old Mellors Reay is profitable, it has reached the limits of
its growth as the Grey group’s creative hotshop.
The merger is thought to have been driven mainly by the need to keep
Mellors within the group. Grey executives were concerned that confining
somebody of his stature to a relatively small agency would make him
vulnerable to alternative job offers. ’Tim was the prize,’ Blamer
The deal is understood to have been drawn out by discussions over an
appropriate role for Reay, a highly regarded agency manager with strong
client contacts who has been anxious to preserve her authority and
Blamer said: ’Carol knows more about the UK market than I, as an
American, could learn in 20 years.’