WCRS and Naked unveil agency

The venture, called Element Communications, will launch with £25m of BMW planning business.

WCRS and Naked Communications are joining forces to launch a communications planning agency called Element Communications, which has secured the £25 million BMW media planning business from Vizeum.

The launch is the latest in a series of similar collaborations between Naked and creative agencies (it has launched start-ups with Clemmow Horny Inge and Fallon). It is a further move by WCRS to diversify its business, having already launched its Huge Entertainment content division.

Element will also handle 118 118, already held by Naked and WCRS, and Mini, for which WCRS has been managing communications planning in-house.

Element is a joint-venture business, with the two agencies sharing costs and profit.

The agency will be based in WCRS's offices and will be headed by the lead strategist, Yusuf Chuku, who moves across from Naked. WCRS's in-house communications planning team, Sally Weavers and Lisa Aitken, will work with two strategists from Naked to complete the team.

Stephen Woodford, the chief executive of WCRS, said: "We chose Naked as partners because we already had a very successful partnership on 118 118 and we have huge respect for their talent, insight and creativity. They're the best in the business."

Will Collin, a partner at Naked, added: "WCRS was a very easy choice and since they bought themselves out of Havas they have caught the entrepreneurial bug, so emotionally they are in the same space as us." Last year, Naked launched Naked Inside, a communications planning business, with CHI.

In September, Fallon announced it was launching two businesses, a digital agency and a communications planning operation, both with Naked's support.

Naked has also launched offices in overseas markets including The Netherlands, Australia and Norway.

- Comment, p48.

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