- The Strattons agency has been rocked by the departures of three of its five board directors after a clash about future strategy.
Piers Bracher, 34, the client services director, Richard Melik, 33, the creative director, and Graham Painter, 38, the media director, are establishing a breakaway shop to be called G3.
None of the trio, who claimed to be running 70 per cent of the business at the £4 million-billing Strattons, have clauses in their contracts preventing them soliciting their former agency's clients.
The breakaway operation opens its doors with one piece of business from an ex Strattons client--the Sandy Lane hotel in Barbados. It aims to achieve billings of £1.3 million in its first year of trading, rising to £3.5 million after three years.
The departures of the three, described by Bracher as "mutually agreeable if not amicable", follow several months of strained relations with Richard Stratton, the managing director and son of Vernon Stratton, who founded the agency 35 years ago.
Bracher, a former McCann-Erickson and Lowe Howard-Spink executive, said: "We recognised that the agency had to change if it was to go forward successfully. The last thing we wanted to do was stalk out but we've had a lot of support from clients and suppliers."
Richard Stratton said: "The agency is moving forward and getting into lots of new areas but we differed over the direction to take. I can't predict what clients will do. We can only continue giving them the service they want."
Bracher, Melik and Painter had put in a combined total of 21 years' service and had substantial minority shareholdings in Strattons.
The agency, which has traditionally kept a low profile, has made its mark in retail and at the premium end of the travel market. Its largest client is the £1.5 million-billing Orient-Express for which it handles the group's hotels and trains divisions.