Brian Watson and Robert Ballin in agency start-up

Brian Watson and Robert Ballin, the ad duo synonymous with the Daily Mail account for more than 30 years, are launching an agency, called Aboutime, which aims to replicate the fast-turnaround work they produced for the newspaper on behalf of other clients.

Robert Ballin (l), Brian Watson: start-up
Robert Ballin (l), Brian Watson: start-up

Watson and Ballin will have a controlling interest in the new operation, with the remaining equity shared between other partners.

They include David Smart, who has written music for all Watson's commercials for the past 15 years; Barry Read, an advertising photographer; William Archer, a TV producer; Des Nicholls, a former group promotions director at Associated Newspapers; and Tony Burdon, a former agency client services director.

The agency will have an affiliation with Pawson Media, whose managing director, Andrew Pawson, will sit on its board.