Greenlees to unite GGT and BST-BDDP

GGT Advertising and BST-BDDP, both members of the GGT Group, are to merge, creating a top 15 UK agency which will be known as BDDP GGT.

GGT Advertising and BST-BDDP, both members of the GGT Group, are to

merge, creating a top 15 UK agency which will be known as BDDP GGT.



The move ends months of speculation following the sale of the BDDP

network - which owned 51 per cent of BST - to the GGT Group for pounds

96 million.



Paul Bainsfair and John Sharkey, the joint chief executives of BST, will

be joint chairmen, while Grant Duncan, managing director of GGT, will

fulfil the same role at the new agency.



The deal, which values BST at more than pounds 8.7 million, will result

in a financial windfall for Bainsfair and Sharkey, who have sold their

49 per cent stake in the agency to the GGT Group.



Trevor Beattie will be creative director, and BST’s executive creative

director, Paul Leeves, will be one of several deputy chairmen. However,

the future looks more uncertain for BST’s creative director of two

years, Tom Hudson. He said: ’It’s too soon to comment, but they’re

certainly not booting me out the door.’



Mike Greenlees, the chairman and chief executive of the GGT Group, said:

’Our ambition is to create in BDDP Worldwide an international

advertising network renowned for its creative and strategic

excellence.’



Greenlees confirmed he is re-examining the group’s media strategy in

Europe, where GGT works mostly with its joint venture partner, CIA Media

Solutions, and BDDP works mostly with the Media Partnership.



Beattie has declared himself delighted with the union: ’I am very happy

- this is the tenth merger of my career and I’m pleased to say it has

been the most sensibly, sensitively and professionally managed of them

all.’



BST’s planning director, Chris Baker, will be executive planning

director, while GGT’s head of planning, Karen Salisbury, will run the

department day to day. There will be four deputy chairmen: Leeves, the

BST partners Nick Kerr and John Allen, and GGT’s Dick Butler.



Duncan confirmed there would be job losses, but insisted most would be

in ’back office positions such as finance and production’. Staff at the

agencies were told on Wednesday as the announcement was made to the

City.



Full story, p4.



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