Publicis was rocked this week by the departures of two of its most
senior account men, Douglas Thursby-Pelham and Barry Cox.
Thursby-Pelham, 40, the Publicis client services director and head of
its flagship pounds 40 million Renault business, is quitting to become
Clark and Taylor’s managing director.
Meanwhile, Cox, 52, Publicis’s senior manager with responsibility for
the agency’s Whitehall Laboratories and a major part of its Guinness
business, is to leave next month with no job to go to.
The shock departure of Thursby-Pelham comes after he spent seven years
running Renault’s UK account. His team was responsible for the famous
’Nicole and Papa’ campaign for the Clio.
He will take up his new job at the pounds 35 million-billing Clark and
Taylor in three months’ time. His hiring will result in a splitting of
responsibilities for Simon Clark, the chief executive, who relinquishes
the managing director’s title to concentrate on new business and
high-level client relationships.
Thursby-Pelham will take control of the day-to-day operations of the
73-strong agency, whose clients include Sainsbury’s, Unilever, United
Biscuits and Whitbread. ’This a great opportunity because the market is
coming round to the likes of Clark and Taylor,’ Thursby-Pelham said.
’Lots of agencies espouse the value of integrated communications but, in
many cases, it’s posturing. Integration is rooted in Clark and Taylor’s
Thursby-Pelham had spells at Allen Brady and Marsh, Reeves Robertshaw,
Doyle Dane Bernbach and Boase Massimi Pollitt before joining
During his stint on the Renault account, the French car manufacturer has
more than doubled its UK sales to take a 7 per cent market share.
Cox, who joined Publicis in the early 90s, became head of business
development in March 1992 to work on new-business prospects and on
increasing business from existing clients. He was later appointed as
managing partner and was closely involved in Guinness’s pounds 5 million
launch of the Enigma lager brand in the UK in 1995.
Michael Conroy, the Publicis group chairman, said the agency was as yet
undecided about whether to fill Thursby-Pelham’s role by internal
promotion or through an outside hiring. He said Cox was also leaving of
his own volition, but declined to comment further. Cox was unavailable
as Campaign went to press.