Grey merges with Mellors Reay shop

Grey is merging with its Mellors Reay subsidiary in a move that will propel Tim Mellors into the creative top spot at the parent agency.

Grey is merging with its Mellors Reay subsidiary in a move that

will propel Tim Mellors into the creative top spot at the parent

agency.



The two agencies called their staff together on Wednesday afternoon to

announce the marriage, which was exclusively forecast by Campaign in

August.



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

admitted.



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

status.



Blamer said: ’Carol knows more about the UK market than I, as an

American, could learn in 20 years.’



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