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
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.’