The former Euro RSCG joint creative chiefs plan to form a group of up to seven teams to work directly for agencies and clients, but with media agencies as their prime target.
"A lot of media companies are looking for creative resource, Grounds said. "Media strategy is often the most important element for many clients, and we would aim to provide the creative work that will deliver it."
Grounds and Morris have sold their shares in Edge/gmc to the remaining partners, Ron Leagas, Neil Campbell and John Barradale. Leagas said: "This gives us the chance to bring in new talent and for Steve and Rob to do the work they want."
Edge/gmc was formed in December 1998 with the merger of a design company and the creative independent Grounds Morris, whose name will be revived for the new venture.
Grounds Morris was in the forefront of a movement to establish creative independents as a serious force in UK advertising in the mid-90s. The concept failed to take off because its advocates could not shake off the perception of them as being redundancy victims filling in between jobs.
John Perris, Zenith Media's worldwide chairman, claimed the idea would be unlikely to have appeal beyond small media independents. "All the major media companies are part of marketing services groups with access to creative services, he said.