TBWA has paid between pounds 12 million and pounds 15 million for
Simons Palmer Clemmow Johnson, in a deal that will create a pounds 120
million billing agency and create a rival to the top ten UK
TBWA Simons Palmer (or Simons Palmer TBWA - the name has yet to be
resolved) will set up offices at the TBWA building in King’s Cross next
month, with Paul Simons, currently the chairman of Simons Palmer, as the
Jo Hoare, the chairman of TBWA, is to retain the title in the new
set-up. Simons is the venture’s biggest individual shareholder.
Trevor Beattie, the creative director of TBWA, will work with all four
of the Simons Palmer creative directors - Andy McKay, Paul Hodgkinson,
Guy Malcolm and Tony Moore. Beattie said: ’My job is the creative
leadership of TBWA Simons Palmer.’
Graeme Arkell, who became the managing director of TBWA last June, is
not expected to have a role in the new line-up. Simon Clemmow will be
the executive planning director, while Carl Johnson will take up the
role of managing director, the post he holds at Simons Palmer.
The deal is likely to put an end to Simons Palmer’s agreement with
Ogilvy and Mather, which administers and buys the Sony Playstation
business across Europe on Simons Palmer’s behalf.
TBWA Chiat Day holds the Playstation account in the US, so a transition
to the TBWA European network would be a simple move.
Client clashes between Simons Palmer and TBWA are minimal. TBWA’s Virgin
Interactive may be squeezed out by Playstation, and Simons Palmer’s IDV
business will be sacrificed for TBWA’s Seagram’s brands, including
Absolut Vodka and Chivas Regal whisky. A question mark hangs over Simons
Palmer’s LDV vans account, which could conflict with TBWA’s pounds 20
million Nissan business in the UK.
Ownership of the Simons Palmer Group’s shareholding in Manning Gottlieb
Media will be diluted, with Nick Manning and Colin Gottlieb expected to
secure a majority share. The Mission will be spun off, and Mike Perry
will own a 100 per cent share in Headlight Vision.