The decision by Grey Advertising not to back the venture after earlier indicating its intention to do so played a part in James' departure.
He left Manning Gottlieb in May 2002, saying he was "no longer happy" working at a media agency. He then launched a content consultancy called Maguffin. James was briefly the managing director of Mediaedge:cia before he took the job at Naked.
Colin Gottlieb, the chief executive of OMD Europe, said: "When Matt left Manning Gottlieb because of various pressures, he was an exceptional talent and we were sad to see him go. He's still only 32 but has done so much, including planning, buying and international work."
OMD won the £125 million European Nissan business in 2000 but was forced to defend it in 2002 against Carat. Manning Gottlieb handles the car company's UK account.
- Diary, p48.