TBWA Simons Palmer is preparing for the departure of John Kelley
and Steve Chetham, two of the four creative directors at the agency.
The move fuels speculation that further changes are soon to be made at
Chetham and Kelley do not plan to work together in the future, although
they have chosen to quit simultaneously. It is thought that Chetham, an
art director, may move to Court Burkitt & Company, which recently took
on Jon Canning from Bates Dorland as its new creative director.
Kelley and Chetham were unavailable for comment as Campaign went to
TBWA Simons Palmer has now lost four of its six creative directors since
the merger between the Omnicom-owned TBWA and Simons Palmer Clemmow
Andy McKay and Paul Hodgkinson, both of whom came from Simons Palmer,
left for M&C Saatchi soon after the merger was announced. McKay moved
again last week, this time to Lowe Howard-Spink where he is now head of
Chetham is a former partner of Trevor Beattie, who was creative director
at TBWA when news of the merger was leaked, but left before the deal was
concluded to become creative director of GGT. Beattie and Chetham
created last year’s campaign for Pretty Polly tights, which won a gold
and two silvers at the Campaign Poster Awards.
Kelley was hired for TBWA by Beattie two years ago as a senior writer
with the added title of vice-chairman. The move followed nearly 18
months of freelancing after Kelley quit Publicis in August 1995. He left
when Gerry Moira was hired over his head as executive creative director.
Before joining Publicis in May 1993, Kelley was at Abbott Mead Vickers
BBDO for 11 years.
The departures of Kelley and Chetham leave Tony Malcolm and Guy Moore at
the helm of TBWA Simons’ creative department. However, it is unlikely
that Malcolm and Moore will run the creative department unaided.
TBWA and Simons Palmer Clemmow Johnson effected an Omnicom-funded merger
almost a year ago. Since then, there have been a number of staff changes
and the agency has lost its flagship Nike account, although it has won
business from Virgin Direct, Virgin One, Ocean Spray and Sharwoods.