DIRECT NEWS: Spirit to back Mike Berry’s direct marketing start-up

Spirit, the advertising agency launched in April by Michael Dobbs, Richard Hammond and Mitch Levy, is backing a below-the-line agency fronted by Mike Berry, an industry veteran whose career spans several below-the-line shops.

Spirit, the advertising agency launched in April by Michael Dobbs,

Richard Hammond and Mitch Levy, is backing a below-the-line agency

fronted by Mike Berry, an industry veteran whose career spans several

below-the-line shops.



Berry will hold the majority shareholding in Spirit Direct and

Promotional Marketing, which opened its doors this week and has hired

two junior account handlers so far. Freelancers will be drafted in as

necessary to work on creative tasks until the client base has grown.



The agency will be independent of Spirit and will be free to pitch for

conflicting business, although Berry will be able to draw upon the

advertising agency’s resources for all other accounts.



’Spirit has real momentum and seemed to be the perfect agency with which

to set up,’ Berry said. ’I am convinced there is a place in the market

for a pan-European direct marketing/sales promotion agency, offering a

full strategic and creative service but without the baggage and cost

structure of a network.’



Berry’s most recent position was as the European managing director of

Group II Worldwide, a Chicago-based company which creates point-of-sale

material for McDonald’s, Coca-Cola and American Airlines.



He left the company in May, citing ’disaffection with large corporate

life’ and quickly began negotiations with Spirit while also finishing

his recently published book, the New Integrated Direct Marketing.



Before Group II, Berry was at Bozell Worldwide. He was the senior

vice-president for European integration and the founder and managing

director of Bozell Market-ing Services, which he left when it was merged

into Marketing Drive earlier this year. His earlier career spanned Kevin

Morley Marketing, Wunderman (prior to the company’s merger with Cato

Johnson), Brann, and Procter & Gamble.



Spirit DPM is launching with three clients: Longmire, the luxury goods

company; Omni Solutions, the information technology company; and the

office furniture supplier, System Interiors.



Berry said: ’Our first clients are small, but they all treat direct

marketing very seriously and will be able to grow with us.’



Dobbs added: ’Spirit DPM is a very natural and log-ical extension of the

Spirit brand. Client interest is already considerable.’



Topics