TBWA’s two main UK below-the-line brands, Tequila and Payne
Stracey, have merged to create a direct marketing agency with claimed
billings of up to pounds 100 million.
Tequila Payne Stracey in London will form the hub of Tequila’s expanding
global network and provides a focus for TBWA Worldwide’s below-the-line
offer, which has been developing steadily since TBWA acquired Tequila
through this year’s acquisition of its previous parent company,
The merger throws up two client conflicts in the UK. Tequila will resign
Chrysler-Jeep in favour of Payne Stracey’s long-standing relationship
with Nissan, while Payne Stracey will part company with Eastern
Electricity due to a conflict with Tequila’s East Midlands
Tom Wass, the former chairman and chief executive of Tequila, will be
the joint chairman and chief executive alongside David Payne, the former
chairman of Payne Stracey. Andrew Stracey, Payne Stracey’s
vice-chairman, will be the deputy chairman of the merged agency, and Ben
Stephens, Payne Stracey’s managing director, will take on the same role.
Jane Asscher, Tequila’s former managing director, will be given the
title chief operating officer and will drive international business.
The component agencies’ creative directors, Mike Cavers from Payne
Stracey and Sean Kinmont from Tequila, will become joint creative
directors of the new shop, and Phil Cragg, Payne Stracey’s planning
director, will adopt the same role at the new agency.
’We have only been building the Tequila network for two-and-a-half years
and there is a lot of work still to be done in creating a global
below-the-line brand for TBWA,’ Wass said. ’For the next stage - and we
have very aggressive plans for the next three years - we need a strong
hub in London. We plan for Tequila Payne Stracey in the UK to be a
centre of excellence and to be able to support the global network better
The Tequila network is planning to invest in new areas in the near
future, including a stronger data capability, new-media and fast-track
production facilities. Other plans include the setting up of sister
shops in the north of England and in Ireland.