TBWA and GGT London merger

The Omnicom Group has announced the merger of BDDP Worldwide and TBWA International – to be called TBWA Worldwide.

The move will be followed later this week by the merger of the group’s London agencies GGT and TBWA Simons Palmer.

The combined agency group will be headed by chairman William Tragos, co-founder of TBWA. Michael Greenlees, chairman and chief executive of GGT, becomes president and chief executive of the group, working from New York.

Jean-Marie Dru, formerly chairman of BDDP Worldwide, is to be president and chief executive International, based in Paris. Alasdair Ritchie, previously president of TBWA Europe, becomes senior vice-president operations.

The name of the merged London agency is as yet unknown. Simons Palmer chief executive, Carl Johnson will become chief executive and GGT chairman Paul Bainsfair will be appointed chairman of the group.

Paul Simons, Simons Palmer group chairman, may be sidelined from the main agency business to look after marketing services businesses. His title will be UK group director.

Grant Duncan, GGT managing director, becomes chief operating officer. Neil Christie, Simons Palmer managing director will retain that title in the merged group.

GGT creative director Trevor Beattie will be creative director, though other titles in that department, including those of Simons Palmer joint creative directors Tony Malcolm and Guy Moore, have yet to be decided.

There are few obvious client clashes, although Simons Palmer’s British Heart Foundation is likely to balk at GGT’s Rothmans work. Simons Palmer holds the account for brewers Marston’s, which clashes with GGT’s Scottish Courage John Smith’s bitter business.

On the media side, CIA will buy GGT’s 50 per cent share in Media Solutions.

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