HHCL signs McIlrath and Harding for new venture

HHCL & Partners is launching a digital agency headed by the former FCA! creative directors Shaun McIlrath and Ian Harding.

HHCL & Partners is launching a digital agency headed by the former FCA! creative directors Shaun McIlrath and Ian Harding.

HHCL is close to finalising the launch details for the agency and is considering a number of names, with 'Heresy' thought to be the favourite.

It will run as a standalone agency backed by HHCL but distinct from its existing digital and integrated services.

McIlrath and Harding spent nine years at FCA! before quitting in August.

During this time they produced acclaimed work for clients including The Wales Tourist Board and Schwartz herbs and spices.

Following their departures from FCA!, McIlrath and Harding have considered a number of options. One possibility was launching a direct marketing agency for J. Walter Thompson, but the talks fell through.

They have been freelancing at HHCL for several weeks.

HHCL is also talking to Tim Patten, who recently left HPT Brand Response where he was a managing partner, about a role with the agency. It is thought that Patten's conversations are not related to the venture with McIlrath and Harding.

Robin Azis, HHCL's chief executive, refused to comment on the agency launch but he confirmed that the agency is in discussions with McIlrath and Harding about a possible venture.

A HHCL source said: 'We want to do something with Shaun and Ian and we are developing a business together. It will be a new proposition for the new economy.'

The agency launch coincides with HHCL's parent company, Chime Communications, having clinched a deal to acquire Roose & Partners and the public relations agency The Quentin Bell Organisation.

News, p5.



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