Between the Lines: United fails to bounce back

It will be scant consolation to the 30 or so United London staff about to lose their jobs, but the agency's closure was the kindest end, given its recent miserable history (page 1).

WPP's Sir Martin Sorrell decided that United London, whose remaining clients and a handful of staff will move into its "sister" agency Grey, had run out of places to go. Like the United network as a whole, it never succeeded in changing the perception of what it was - a disparate alliance of agencies across the world thrown together by accident but with no recognisable culture or consistent USP.

Formed as the Conquest network in 1988 to handle Alfa Romeo's pan-European account, its reinventions as Red Cell and United always looked reactive rather than proactive. Others always seemed to get there first and do it better.