In the context of some painful recent deals, BDDP GGT’s merger
appears both to have been handled professionally and sensitively, and to
be the most logical.
BST never quite lived up to the promise of its illustrious founders.
Those with longer memories will recall their confident pledge in October
1990 not to take on business with less than pounds 4 million of
billings. Yes, 1990 seems a long time ago. Dave Trott’s style sat
uneasily with that of the former Saatchis boys. It was no surprise that
the partnership ended the year after the merger with Miller & Leeves
WAHT. While the agency’s creative work never caught fire, Sharkey and
Bainsfair proved to be two of the smartest businesspeople running a top
GGT has long flattered to deceive. There have been many memorable
campaigns, from Toshiba, Holsten and Ariston, to Cadbury’s Flake,
Capital Radio and John Smith’s. However, client leakage cancelled out
its ability to win new business and the shop was not profitable enough.
It never broke through to the top rank of Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO or
Lowe Howard-Spink. This is a situation GGT plc could not allow to
Yes, the cultures are different but not impossibly so, particularly
given that GGT already has a new creative director with a very strong,
very different personality to his predecessors. Much will hang on the
way Sharkey and Bainsfair spark with Beattie. Grant Duncan’s managing
director role will also be crucial in seeing both sets of staff through
what inevitably will be a traumatic period.
For Mike Greenlees, this merger is a lot less controversial than his
bold swoop on the BDDP network in the first place. Some of his peers
have been expecting it all to fall apart ever since. So much now hangs
on the performance of not just Wells Rich Greene in New York, but his
other consistently underrated agencies.This merger is a step in the
right direction to building his desired international network. But only