Roger Williams, denied a top creative slot at Bates Dorland in 1994, is
taking control of the creative department at Clark and Taylor as the
agency bids to gain top-20 status within five years.
His brief is to provide Clark and Taylor with the extra creative
firepower needed to propel it out of its relative anonymity and into
line with a solid base of blue-chip clients, which include Sainsbury’s,
Unilever, United Biscuits, Whitbread and the DIY chain, Wickes.
Williams’ hiring comes 18 months after his acrimonious split with
Dorlands. As acting creative director after Andrew Cracknell’s
departure, he took legal advice when he failed to secure joint creative
command alongside the incoming Tim Ashton.
Since then he has divided his time between freelance assignments and
writing feature-film scripts.
Clark and Taylor, without a creative director since Mike Burkinshaw’s
departure six months ago to start his own shop, has enjoyed a 20 per
cent year-on-year billings growth over the past five years. But despite
an annual income of more than pounds 4 million, the agency has no
‘We’ve been the most successful agency nobody has ever heard of,’ Simon
Clark, the agency’s chief executive, claimed. ‘But our rate of growth
gets harder to sustain every year. And although we’re probably the best
integrated agency in town, it’s important to overlay that with a strong
The hope is that Williams, 39, who has been associated with some of
Dorlands’ best-known advertising, including Safeway, P&O Ferries and
Bass, can secure the agency’s entree on to more big-budget pitch-lists.
Williams, whose 19-year agency career also spans Leo Burnett, Collett
Dickenson Pearce, Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO and Ted Bates, said: ‘It’s a
big challenge but I’m going in with my eyes open. Clark and Taylor is an
agency that wants to grow and I want to be involved in that process.’