Dentsu is backing a below-the-line outfit in the UK that will be
headed by Peter Crossing, the former chairman of Bates Worldwide’s 141
Crossing, who has more than two decades of below-the-line industry
experience, will be joined by John O’Sullivan, his executive creative
director of seven years.
The two will be equal partners in the new venture, which will be called
The agency will be nominally aligned with CDP, Dentsu’s largest wholly
owned advertising agency in the UK.
Crossing O’Sullivan has already had discussions with a number of CDP’s
clients. It will initially build its business from that base and then
begin courting independent clients.
Dentsu is thought to have been attracted to the deal partly because of
Crossing’s extensive experience in working with the tobacco
Crossing spent seven years running the BAT account worldwide for 141, as
well as heading the Imperial Tobacco business at the Brompton
Dentsu and CDP have a long-standing relationship with Gallaher.
Crossing O’Sullivan will operate as a consultancy rather than a
traditional executional agency. CDP already has a number of in-house
direct marketing and sales promotion specialists and this resource will
be part of the fledgling agency’s offering.
Chris Macleod, the chief executive of CDP, explained: ’The agency won’t
be replacing our through-the-line capabilities, it will be adding to
them. Strategic consultancy is where the business is going.’
Crossing and O’Sullivan left 141 last year amid management disagreements
following the appointment of Graham Green as the overall chairman of
Bates UK’s below-the-line interests.
Crossing said: ’When we left 141, the criteria we set was to find a
partner that we respected, but which would leave us alone.
With CDP and Dentsu, we have exactly that, combined with access to the
interesting and lucrative business that the international network
Before his seven years at 141, Crossing had his own agency, Crossing
Connors, which was part-owned by Euro RSCG Wnek Gosper. He also launched
the Brompton agency for Lowe Howard-Spink and spent six years at
Saatchis, during which time he helped SPA and worked on the Tory party