Reay quits Grey in clash over top job

Grey has been rocked by its second senior management resignation within a month as Carol Reay quit this week as deputy chairman.

Grey has been rocked by its second senior management resignation

within a month as Carol Reay quit this week as deputy chairman.

Now the group faces possible legal action by Reay, who claims the agency

has not honoured its obligation to make her chairman by 1 April.

The news came in a brief statement issued on Wednesday morning by Reay’s

lawyers, Franks & Co. It said: ’Due to Grey Advertising’s flagrant

breach of Carol Reay’s contract she has today, 14 April 1999, left the

company. Ms Reay is issuing no further statement at the moment on this


Her departure was announced as Roger Edwards, chairman of the Grey

operations in London, continued negotiating his exit having failed to

win a more senior role within the network (Campaign, 26 March).

Reay is believed to have cleared her desk on Tuesday evening in advance

of a letter being delivered to Steve Blamer, the agency’s chief

executive, the following day.

Blamer said: ’I’m shocked at the abrupt and public manner of Carol’s

departure. It didn’t have to be this way.’

Reay’s decision blows a hole in the ’dream team’ that was set to

rejuvenate Grey after its Mellors Reay subsidiary was rolled into the

main agency at the beginning of the year.

The main purpose of the merger was to exploit the pedigree of the

Mellors Reay founding partner, Tim Mellors, who was handed creative

command of Grey with a brief to give the UK agency the creative profile

it lacked.

Reay was never an enthusiastic advocate of the merger. She is said to

have told friends that Grey was less interested in her than in the

critical mass her business would provide.

Grey chiefs were optimistic that Reay and Blamer would form a

complementary partnership. Their hope was that Blamer, a Californian

with limited experience of the UK ad scene, would run the agency while

Reay, a highly regarded industry figure, would be its public face.

But Blamer is thought to have been uncertain about Reay’s commitment to

the restructured agency and to have concluded that one senior figure

should be in charge.

Her departure is bound to raise questions about the effect on morale of

ex-Mellors Reay staffers operating as an ’agency within an agency’, and

on former Mellors Reay clients with whom Reay has strong contacts.

Editor’s comment, p2.


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