Bates cuts 45 jobs ahead of takeover

LONDNO - Bates UK has axed the jobs of 45 people, almost half its staff, in the countdown to the agency's absorption into the WPP group.

A dozen-strong skeleton staff will stay on to service the remaining handful of accounts before the shop closes at the end of the year, ending a presence in London stretching back almost 100 years.

Toby Hoare, the Bates Europe chairman, and Chris Herd, the Bates UK managing director, will remain in place to oversee the shutdown and manage the switchover of the business that's left.

Both are in talks with WPP about possible future roles, as is Andrew Cracknell, who stepped down as the executive creative director in May, and Aris Theophilakis, the network's London-based European creative director.

Tim Broadbent, the Bates Europe chief strategic officer, is leaving to pursue other interests.

Redundant staff were told of their fate on Friday. The most high-ranking casualty is Vanella Jackson, the planning director, who joined 16 months ago from Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO.

More than 40 Bates staff have been found jobs at the WPP-owned J. Walter Thompson, which is taking over most of the Bates business including B&Q, Roche, Pfizer and Thames Water.

Bates UK will continue servicing the Hoover and Ocean Spray accounts.

Other remaining accounts include Seat, whose £50 million pan-European business is set to move to Grey Worldwide, and Wella, the haircare products manufacturer, which is expected to be realigned within a roster agency of its new parent, Proctor & Gamble.

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