- Brian Jones and Xanthos Christodoulou, the award-winning creative duo, have quit Craik Jones Watson Mitchell Voelkel after only three weeks to become join start-up Harrison Patten Troughton Brand Response.
The volte face comes as a result of HPT starting up sooner than the expected May date, at which point the team had planned to leave their former agency, FCA!, and join Steve Harrison, the creative partner of HPT, with whom they once worked at Ogilvy & Mather Direct, now OgilvyOne.
"We didn't know they had gone to Craik Jones until we saw the story in Campaign," said Harrison, referring to the news in the 20 March issue.
HPT, which is being backed by Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe, officially opens its doors in May, but has started pitching for business already, winning a place on the Ionica list alongside Brann and Ogilvy & Mather.
Harrison introduced the team to one another at O&M, since when the three of them have kept in touch.
"They have always been at the top of my list of people I wanted to hire." Harrison explained. "I don't want to discredit FCA! or Craik Jones. Brian and Xanthos have worked for exciting agencies, but they were attracted by the specific challenges that only a start-up can offer. They are ambitious men, and ours is an ambitious shop."
No-one at Craik Jones would comment on the move, but Harrison said: "They have been characteristically decent about it. I'm not gloating; it is just serendipity."