NEWS: Partners decide to split Bean MC

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 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

the agency.’



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

larger clients.



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

retained basis.



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.



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