TBWA rethinks structure

New chief Matt Shepherd-Smith overhauls agency to make it more client-focused.

TBWA\London's new chief executive, Matt Shepherd-Smith, is restructuring the London agency in a bid to make it more client-focused.

The restructure will also encompass the further integration of Connections, its media arm, and Stream, its brand entertainment division, with the main agency.

The reorganisation will see TBWA split into two teams. The business unit will integrate account handling, traffic, TV and finance, while the creative department will be expanded and merged with the planning department.

The changes will come into effect by the end of March. All staff will remain in their current jobs, but some will have to move to different locations. TBWA's European president, Paul Bainsfair, will oversee the initiative.

The restructure is designed to help the agency better handle client needs and move it away from its boutique positioning. Shepherd-Smith said many agencies are too linear in their approach to business.

He added: "We are changing our structure to deliver against the ever-changing needs of our clients. They want big ideas deployed through multiple channels. This can only enhance how we deliver against that."

The restructure comes after a difficult year for TBWA. Clients including Abbey, News Group Newspapers, five, Ask.com and Thomas Cook have taken their business to rival agencies. Shepherd-Smith was appointed two weeks ago to replace Andrew McGuinness, who left to found Beattie McGuinness Bungay last May.

- Comment, page 48.