TBWA Simons to lose star pairing

TBWA Simons Palmer is preparing for the departure of John Kelley and Steve Chetham, two of the four creative directors at the agency.

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

the agency.

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.


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