Tim Mellors, Grey’s newly appointed creative chief, has spoken
publicly of his frustration at the failure of the agency bearing his
name to break into the big league.
Interviewed on Campaign’s website, CampaignLive, last week, he confessed
that Mellors Reay & Partners, about to be merged with its Grey parent,
was a blown opportunity. And he indicated it may take him up to three
years to give Grey genuine creative credibility.
Mellors Reay, which will keep its autonomy as one of Grey’s four newly
created ’agencies within agencies’, launched in 1994 amid high hopes
that it would provide the Grey group’s creative counterbalance.
But Mellors said: ’To pretend Mellors Reay lived up to my or the
industry’s expectations would be naive and false.’
He added: ’We started out really well but we couldn’t break out of the
middle-sized bracket or into the creative hotshop style of work I
suppose I might have been associated with before. I think Mellors Reay
was a good agency. But, two years in, I had to accept it wasn’t going to
be a great agency.’
At the same time, Mellors brushed aside suggestions that Grey’s
internationally-aligned client list was resistant to exciting creative
work and that Grey bosses were more interested in the bottom line than
Procter & Gamble and Mars were among the major Grey clients putting a
heavy accent on creativity, he said. ’What surprised me - and the reason
I’m here - is that the attitude from the top down is both open to change
and convinced that it is necessary.’
Mellors admitted that a ’sea change in attitude’ would be needed at the
agency and that changes in the creative department might be
Asked if, like Andrew Cracknell at Bates Dorland, it would take him
three years to change the creative perception of Grey, Mellors replied:
’I think Andrew’s time span is a sensible one and I suppose I have three
years in the back of my mind too.’
The interview is available in the ’transcript’ area of CampaignLive’s
Talkback channel at www. campaignlive.com.