The four founders of Bean MC, the so-called creative independent which
launched amid much fanfare in September 1994, have announced that they
are to split up.
The partners will devolve into two groups. Robert Bean, the former head
of advertising at BT, and Mark Cramphorn, the ex-head of creative
services at Bartle Bogle Hegarty, have already started trading as a new
brand development and communications company. An announcement concerning
new partners and a new name is believed to be imminent.
The creative partners, brothers Paul and Gary Marshall, formerly of
Leagas Delaney, are considering their long-term futures. In the short
term, they will be freelancing. For the time being, the four founders
are operating out of adjacent offices in Brewer Street, Soho.
It is not clear at this stage what will happen to Bean MC clients such
as Planet Internet, the Consumers’ Association, Foundation Health and
Voluntary Services Overseas.
None of the four, best known for their Virgin Radio work, was available
to comment on the split. Instead they released a statement: ‘Paul and
Gary Marshall, the creative 50 per cent of the agency, wished to keep
Bean MC going. But Mark Cramphorn and Robert Bean, the management half,
found that their interests and ambitions were no longer being served by
It is understood that a conflict arose between the partners over the
size and nature of the business that the agency sought. Bean and
Cramphorn, in particular, are known to have been keen to work with much
The partners also appear to have disagreed over how closely the agency
should remain true to its start-up ethos of being a ‘creative-only
outsourcing advertising bureau’, with business won on a project-by-
project basis. Bean MC began the year seeking to win more business on a
Also at issue was how integrated a service the shop should offer. The
smaller clients that Bean MC attracted in its first year sought design
and direct marketing services as well.