The FCB group is insulating its showpiece Daily Mail business
against the threat of defection by launching a second-string agency to
run the pounds 12 million account.
FCB Productions will not only reunite the Mail’s long-serving account
team but will hunt other clients which, like the newspaper, want fast
turnaround but effective TV advertising without high production
Much of the work is likely to be channelled through New Era Commercials,
the production company owned by Associated Newspapers, the Mail’s
The move is intended to provide the stability and continuity demanded on
the Mail account by Associated, which was concerned about the disruption
to its business caused by last year’s merger between FCB and Banks
FCB also hopes the new operation will provide an effective platform from
which to go after the pounds 5.6 million Mail on Sunday account at
Bartle Bogle Hegarty.
It brings together Brian Watson, the most highly rated creative working
on Associated, who will be its chairman and creative director, and
Robert Ballin, FCB’s former deputy chairman and account director on the
Mail business for 20 years until his abrupt exit seven months ago. He
returns as a consultant.
Robert Hamer, FCB’s chairman at the time of the merger, will combine
European responsibilities for the network with the role of chief
executive of the new agency.
Watson, who has worked on the Mail account for 19 years, making more
than 700 commercials, said there might have been some ’serious hiccups’
with the business had action not been taken.
The new team says it is talking to five prospects - none of them
existing FCB clients - about their business.