Between the Lines: Weetabix loss hits TAP hard

Walker Media and The Allmond Partnership both launched in the latter half of the 90s and both secured the backing of a single major client to form their bedrocks - Dixons Stores Group and BT respectively.

Although this was a risky strategy, both agencies had charismatic leaders in Christine Walker and Nigel Allmond and, no doubt, grand ambitions to make their mark. But TAP's loss of the £9 million Weetabix business to Walker (page 1) shows their subsequent histories have proved to be very different.

TAP's problem has always been its reputation as being no more than BT's TV buying shop. Two years ago, when it won Weetabix from PHD, there was a glimmer of hope. But it proved short-lived when BT's demerged businesses O2 and Yell went to rival agencies.

Now, with Weetabix gone and BT its only big client, TAP looks dangerously exposed.

Life as a media independent is tough. No doubt the7stars, the new venture from Colin Mills, Mark Jarvis and Jenny Biggam, has taken note.