CDD Testa to shut as founders walk

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

Di Saronno.

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.