DraftFCB chiefs exit in Inferno deal

harris DraftFCB has splashed the cash on ad agency Inferno – in a deal which could be worth up to £20m – triggering the departures of two of the direct agency’s top team, creative chief Dave Harris and London boss Kate Howe.
The agency will temporarily be named Inferno & DraftFCB until a new name is decided in February, with Inferno chairman Frazer Gibney heading up the management team.
Inferno founding partner Tim Doust and the chief creative officer Al Young will also keep their roles.
The rest of the management team will be in place by January, although the fate of Nigel Jones – who is due to join the agency in a global strategy role after quitting Publicis in September – is unknown.
DraftFCB executive creative director Harris resigned ahead of the deal. He had who only joined the agency in April – succeeding Mark Fiddes – after quitting Wunderman only a month before. The former founder of Lida had been at Wunderman for more than 6 years.
Harris is joined out of the exit door by Howe, the London and regional president for Europe. She had been at the agency since July 2009.
A DraftFCB spokesman conceded some further “casualties” were inevitable due to duplicate department heads, adding that the deal was triggered “not just because we wanted another agency in London, but because the two have very strong cultures. DraftFCB is more of a global network and Inferno is more of a local agency with strong global potential.”
Doust said: “I thought this was a good idea because we call each ourselves a 360 agency and we’re very good at the creative work and winning pitches, but there’s something that’s been missing – the CRM and data stuff. Now, that’s in place.”

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