“Grouty”, as he is affectionately known in the industry, has been at TBCH four and a half years. Along with former executive creative director Chris Martin, he helped transform the agency and bed in the merger between Claydon Heeley and Targetbase. Martin quit four months ago to join Watson Philips Norman.
Grout started his career at MSW Rapp & Collins in 1987, under the leadership of Graham McCorkall, one of the founding fathers UK direct marketing. In 1994, the agency merged with WWAV and Grout moved across to be client services director, staying another three years.
He then had spells at Wunderman and Carlson (now Aimia) before returning to WWAV (now Rapp) in 2002 to take charge of its expansion into international and healthcare markets.
Grout stayed five years before leaving to set up his own consultancy, the Grout Eccles Partnership, whose clients included TalkSport, PruHealth and the RSPCA. He joined TBCH in January 2009.
Commenting on his appointment Grout said: “Tangent Snowball offers me a fantastic opportunity. It’s positioned in the sweet spot of where marketing is heading – maximising the use of digital technology to drive business and deliver a tangible return on marketing investment for clients. I know the plc has ambitious plans for the agency and I’m looking forward to getting started on making those plans a reality.”
AIM-listed Tangent Communications bought Snowball in a £3.2m deal back in 2009. Founded in 2003, Snowball had specialised in luxury brands, including Bang & Olufsen, Alfred Dunhill, and Tag Heuer, but while retaining these accounts it now has a much wider client base, including Nails Inc, Which? and Hive Bookstores.
Tangent Communications chief executive Timothy Green said the appointment was designed to bring in “new blood” to the senior team to develop and execute a strategy to meet its growth targets. He added: “Steve brings stacks of experience in the areas we were looking for – he’s run CRM and loyalty programmes for brands such as British Airways, Ford, Heinz, Pfizer, and Three Mobile. And, alongside his expertise in building client’s business, Steve has run a number of great agencies. We’re looking forward to having him on board and seeing the next chapter of Tangent Snowball begin.”
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