The founding partners of CDD Testa are walking away from the deal
with the Italian network after less than three weeks in business.
Walter Campbell, Sean Doyle, Dave Dye and Marco Testa issued a joint
statement on Wednesday announcing that they will abort their plans to
launch a London partnership under the CDD Testa name. Testa was to have
kept a 55 per cent stake in the London office and the partners were to
have shared the remaining 45 per cent.
A statement on the closure read: "In the light of recent events in
foreign politics and the destabilisation of markets around the world in
this uncertain period, Testa has decided not to continue with an
investment plan as important as this in the medium to long term."
Marco Testa, the chairman and chief executive of Testa, said: "This
decision will not affect the existing Armando Testa operations in Europe
and we wish CDD well." At the time of the agency opening its doors, he
said: "I am convinced this will be a success. We're here to do business
- but we'll do it our way." Testa's clients include Pirelli, Lavazza and
Dye said: "We have great respect for Testa and share a belief in
creative excellence. However, we feel that given the current
circumstances, the time is not right to align ourselves with each other.
We have the same confidence as we had before this and will be doing it
with or without outside backing. We will start talking to other
potential investors and continue pitching for business."
CDD Testa was unveiled in July vowing to be known as "a small European
agency of quality". Its founding team consisted of three of Abbott Mead
Vickers BBDO's elite creatives - Campbell, Dye and Doyle - and Caspar
Thykier, AMV's new-business director and a board account director on
They were joined by the Lowe Lintas planning director, Alison Hoad, and
Stefan Hohmann, an account director at Leagas Delaney.
All six founding partners of CDD have declared their intention to remain
together as a team and to look at all possible options from self-funding
to finding a new backer. They left the Testa offices after a crisis
meeting on Wednesday and have, as yet, no new premises. It is understood
that they remain on the Gordon's Gin pitchlist but leave with no actual
Testa is Italy's undisputed number one creative agency, but has been
dogged by problems in trying to get into the London market. In 1992 it
formed Simons Testa - a joint venture with Simons Palmer Denton Clemmow
Johnson - but the partnership collapsed in 1995. In 1999 Testa opened a
London office, later relaunched as CDD Testa. It is believed that
Testa's London office will close as a result of this week's news.
- Perspective, p2.