Gary Betts and Malcolm Green, whose eight-month reign as
McCann-Erickson’s joint creative directors ended in August, are
launching their own venture to provide advertisers with ideas capable of
working across the entire range of their marketing activity.
The Mighty Big Idea Company is intended to answer what Betts and Green
say is a growing trend by clients to look for creative answers to their
problems beyond conventional agency set-ups.
The operation starts with a blank client list although the pair, who
have rejected other job offers, claim they have investors willing to
offer them backing should they want it.
Betts and Green, who are best known as the creators of the Gary Lineker
campaign for Walkers crisps at BMP, left McCanns when the agency hired
Mike Court as creative director (Campaign, 23 August).
Since then the duo have been freelancing. However, Betts said: ’We have
always had the desire to have our own business.’
Green added: ’We didn’t want to set ourselves up as Betts and Green
because that sounds like a pair of creative freelancers, which isn’t
what we want to be. Nor are we a virtual agency. We want to get to the
nub of what clients want - and what they want is a big idea that might
run from packaging to a TV commercial.’
Their company, which will operate out of the former Partners BDDH
offices in London’s Marylebone Lane, intends to link with a planning
consultancy and a media independent.
The pair say they will mirror what is going on within many client
companies, where good marketing ideas come from a wide variety of
As a result, they intend to recruit up to four staff who may not
necessarily have advertising and marketing experience. ’We want a team
of people around us who won’t apologise for having a good idea,’ Betts
said. ’They could be anybody from an ex-architect to a former television
He added: ’The reason is that clients are getting much braver, won’t
necessarily follow convention and are frustrated by their agencies,
which they think have grown out of touch. Advertising can’t be made
effective simply by throwing money at it.’