Grey kicks off search for UK creative chief

Grey London is moving Dave Alberts, its chairman and executive creative director, out of his role at the head of its creative department.

It is understood he will take over creative duties on the £100 million global business, for the financial services group Fortis, which the agency picked up this week following a pitch against Leo Burnett and Ogilvy Advertising.

The decision to move Alberts from the role follows months of speculation about his future at the agency. Grey is understood to already have kicked off a search for his replacement.

Alberts joined Grey in early 2003 as a replacement for Tim Mellors. Garry Lace, the chief executive at the time, hired him from Australia's MojoPartners as part of his restructuring programme.

Grey London has still not managed to produce consistently strong creative work across its portfolio of brands. Its most recent high-profile campaign was the 2006 "discuss" campaign for AOL.

Alberts was the lead creative on the Fortis pitch and worked closely with John Lowery, the former Grey London planner who is now working across Grey's European network, and Carolyn Carter, the president and chief executive of Grey Group EMEA.