The four founding partners of the HHCL Brasserie are breaking away
from the TV-only shop to set up their own agency and are taking the
Disney Channel, a former Brasserie client, with them.
Rupert Howell, managing partner of the Brasserie’s parent agency, HHCL &
Partners, confirmed that the new shop, set up by the former partners,
Mischa Alexander, Chris McDonald, Liz Whiston and Dave Shelton, would
not be prohibited from speaking to other former Brasserie clients.
He said: ’The concept behind the Brasserie was that it worked on one-off
projects so there are no ’clients’ as such.
’I would imagine that they will work with most of the clients that
they’ve worked with before. While it’s always nicer to have people
working for you, I think you should celebrate people setting up on their
own. They go with our blessing.’
HHCL has no plans to close the Brasserie, but is considering how to
develop the concept in a different way.
Howell said: ’I still think there is a need for a one-off project
approach and the Brasserie was a viable business. We’ll definitely be
keeping it open.’
Of the three full-timers at the Brasserie, one is going to the new
agency, one has been taken into HHCL and the other is leaving to pursue
At the new agency, Alexander will take on the mantle of managing
partner, with McDonald as planning partner and Whiston and Shelton as
creative partners. The four are negotiating with HHCL to take over the
lease on the Brasserie’s Newman Street offices.
Both Howell and Alexander were at pains to stress the split was
However, it is thought the two sides could not agree on how to develop
Alexander said: ’When we set up the Brasserie, the endorsement by HHCL
was vital. In the last year, we’ve found that, because of the
association, we’ve lost more opportunities to go for new business than
we’ve gained. We think that we have a better business opportunity by
The four former HHCL staffers set up the Brasserie in September 1995 to
cater for clients who wanted one-off, broadcast-only campaigns. They
created ads for clients such as Paxo, Sega Saturn, McCain pizzas and the
Martin brand, Metz.