Y&R buys Rainey Kelly

Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe has sold to Young & Rubicam in a deal - estimated to be worth over pounds 25 million - which puts Rainey Kelly’s management team in charge of Y&R London.

Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe has sold to Young & Rubicam in a deal

- estimated to be worth over pounds 25 million - which puts Rainey

Kelly’s management team in charge of Y&R London.

The new agency, Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R, will have combined

billings of pounds 209 million and should rank number ten in the UK

agency league table.

MT Rainey said: ’We are at the top of our game. We are proud of the

Rainey Kelly brand and see this as a big, blue-sky opportunity for us to

shape the Y&R brand in the UK alongside our own.’

Rainey and Jim Kelly will take on the title of joint chief executive,

while Robert Campbell and Mark Roalfe will be co-creative directors of

the new agency. All four are expected to receive half of the money up

front, with the other half of the cash delivered in four years’ time in

a deal related to a set of performance criteria.

The new agency will be based at Y&R’s office, Greater London House, but

the integration process, which gets under way next week, is unlikely to

be finalised until the end of the year.

Toby Hoare, the chief executive of Y&R, has been offered a choice of top

jobs within the Y&R network. Hoare oversaw the agency’s recovery after a

turbulent start to the 90s and was instrumental in winning the agency

lead status on the Ford account last year. He said: ’I am flattered by

the offers but there’s more to it than a job. It’s about my family as

well. I’m going to think about it.’

The futures of Y&R’s managing director, Stevie Spring, planning

director, Tim Broadbent, and creative director, Mike Cozens have yet to

be decided, although they are all being offered positions within Y&R. It

is thought Spring and Broadbent will be offered management positions

within the new agency with responsibility for new business and planning

respectively, while Cozens will get a pan-European creative role.

Bruno Widmer, the chairman of Y&R Europe, said: ’Our primary goal was to

strengthen the UK operation. This is a big, bold move and we are fully

committed to it. We owe it to our clients to have a strong brand in this

market.’ Widmer and his president, Bert Meerstadt, have been working on

the deal for two months.

Rainey Kelly resigned its pounds 15 million Astra business last week so

the deal could go through. Y&R is Ford of Europe’s lead agency in the

UK, an account worth pounds 85 million.

The other major clash thrown up by the deal is between Virgin Atlantic

and United Airlines. An agreement has already been reached between the

two clients whereby UA will be handled by Y&R Europe, with Virgin

Atlantic remaining a client of the main London agency.

Other potential clashes include Ericsson and Virgin’s new mobile phone

company, which Rainey Kelly is to launch later this year. Thornton’s,

which has been with Rainey Kelly since 1994, will not sit happily with

Toblerone, which Y&R handles as part of a global relationship with Kraft

Jacobs Suchard.

Y&R also has a global relationship with UDV, while Rainey Kelly’s client

list includes the Allied Domecq-owned Tia Maria. Virgin Cola may clash

with Coca-Cola & Schweppes’ Dr Pepper, another Y&R global client.

Rainey Kelly/Y&R will retain Rainey Kelly’s 40 per cent stake in HPT

Brand Response, the below-the-line shop which it helped found in May

1999, and will continue to support the agency. Tim Patten, one of its

founders, said: ’We are in charge of our own destiny but this deal gives

us a bigger pond to fish in.’

Further analysis on p2, pp12-13, p27.