Malcolm Summerfield, the former McCann-Erickson chief executive, has
become the head of the management team of a new agency that will gain an
instant top 50 ranking through its acquisition of the pounds 25 million-
Summerfield has linked up with Paul Wilmot, the one-time creative spark-
plug behind Citroen’s UK advertising, and Jane Keene, a sales promotion
and direct marketing specialist, to buy BHP, with City backing.
Summerfield Wilmot Keene will begin with a base of clients including
Slazenger, Barratt Homes, Austrian Airlines and Deloitte and Touche,
which reflect BHP’s expertise as a leisure and travel, financial
services and property specialist.
The new agency will run counter to the fashion of recent years by being
one of the few start-ups to open its doors with a fully fledged media
department already in place.
Summerfield Wilmot’s declared aim of building an all-round
communications group will be completed with the purchase of two as yet
unnamed PR operations.
Meanwhile, the new agency will gain access to an international network
through an alliance with Grey, although the US-based group have no
financial interest in the new venture.
About half the equity in the start-up will be held by the founding
partners. The rest will be divided between the Gesham Trust - the
agency’s financial backer - and five BHP directors.
The 50-strong BHP team will move into Summerfield Wilmot’s offices in
London’s Whitfield Street at the beginning of next month.
Wilmot will lead the agency’s six-strong creative department and is
currently looking for an art director.
BHP’s creative director, Lloyd Frankland, will continue to work on
existing accounts. ‘I’ll not interfere, but if I can raise standards I
will,’ Wilmot said.
The establishment of the new shop is the culmination of almost two years
of negotiations and organisation by Summerfield.
It also marks a return to advertising on a full-time basis by Wilmot,
the former Euro RSCG Wnek Gosper creative director who since April 1994
has split his time between film-making and freelancing.
Keen has also been freelancing since quitting as a strategy director at
Publicis in Paris.
Wilmot said: ‘All three of us know there’s more to advertising than
winning awards. You also have to flog the goods. We will have the
combined brain power of all the marketing disciplines at the top of the
agency to solve the problems.’