…while Grey revamps London office’s image

Grey Advertising is planning to relaunch its London office in an attempt to raise its profile as a creative force and improve its poor new business record in recent months.

Plans for the relaunch are still at an embryonic stage but it is timed to coincide with the completion of an interior revamp of its Great Portland Street office in the summer.

Plans are thought to include a creative manifesto which will be developed for clients and the staff.

The agency has had to weather some major personnel upheavals, including the departure of its managing director Nigel Sharrocks and planning director Peter Field. Both left without jobs to go to.

Grey is known for its blue-chip clients, such as Mars Confectionery, SmithKline Beecham and Procter & Gamble, but it suffers from an image problem. It is seen as lacking innovation, and has been dogged by the “Grey by name and Grey by nature” tag.

It was forced to restructure three months ago in the wake of the senior departures. Chairman Roger Edwards has created an executive committee to run the agency but has also interviewed a number of top-level agency managers for the managing director post.

Grey London is not thought to have won any new business in the past six months since it was awarded the 20m global WorldSpace Management account in September.

However, the 20m pan-European Lee jeans account and the 2m Speedo sportswear client are currently under review. It also failed to win the Nokia Telecommunications account (MW February 12), which went to Ogilvy & Mather.

A number of sources at Grey confirm that the relaunch is going ahead but Edwards refuses to comment at this stage.

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