A senior Omnicom source has rubbished reports that TBCH has been merged into sister agency Rapp, following the loss of its biggest account – mobile giant Three – claiming the brand is safe, for the time being at least.
Last week it was reported that TBCH “was in the process of being folded into Rapp” and moving from its office in Bayswater into Rapp’s offices in Hammersmith, although it was also said that “no redundancies are planned”.
But speaking exclusively to DecisionMarketing, one Omnicom chief said: “They couldn’t have got it more wrong if they’d tried. The simple fact is that there’s no merger.
“Now that TBCH has lost Three, there’s no conflict with Rapp’s Virgin account so they can share the same premises. As for claims that there will be no redundancies, that’s a nonsense, too – they’ve just lost their biggest account so why would they need so many staff?”
When quizzed about whether the two agencies would merge eventually, the source was slightly less forthcoming, stressing: “You never say never in this game.”
TBCH has recently brought in a new management team, following the departure of chief executive Steve Grout to Tangent Snowball. Baber Smith managing director Emma Rush succeeded Grout and recently hired head of planning Shona Forster, who returned to agency-land following a spell as a consultant, and head of client services Louise Morgan from sister agency Rapp.
The irony of a merger between Rapp and the former Targetbase Claydon Heeley would not be lost on some. Back in the mid-2000s, Claydon Heeley chairman – and spindoctor extraordinaire – Leo Campbell was on a one-man mission to tell the world Claydon Heeley was poised to take over Rapp (then WWAV Rapp Collins).
His powers of persuasion were strong; Campaign magazine even printed it in its annual round-up as “one to watch”.
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