Tim Ashton, executive creative director of Bates Dorland, quit the agency last week after two years.
Ashton was brought in by Paul Twivy, the former Bates Dorland chief executive who left acrimoniously last autumn, and subsequently took successful legal action against the agency for wrongful dismissal.
Ashton replaced Andrew Cracknell, who is now chairman of Ammirati Puris Lintas, and who also took successful legal action against Bates Dorland on similar grounds when he split from the agency.
After Twivy left Bates Dorland last year, rumours of Ashton’s impending departure began to circulate, though at the time Ashton was adamant that he would remain: “Whatever happens, I am staying,” he reportedly said.
Bates Dorland chairman Graham Hinton, who worked with Ashton at DMB&B in the Eighties, says it was best for both Ashton and the agency that they parted.
“Creative director is the most difficult job in advertising. There has been some uncertainty over Tim’s position for the past couple of months,” says Hinton.
The agency is seeking another creative director and in the meantime the creative department will be run by the remaining senior creative staff: John Canning, Paul Walter and Chips Hardy.
Bates Dorland is the sister agency to Saatchi & Saatchi and with Saatchi jointly owns media agency Zenith. All are part of the Cordiant group and are poised to be spun off as separate entities.
The agency’s major clients include Safeway, the Halifax, Woolworth, P&O European Ferries and Superdrug. It recently lost the Land Rover account to WCRS.