BMP DDB and Claydon Heeley International are forming a new standalone direct marketing agency called Jones Mason Barton Antenen.
It will be headed by Nigel Jones, planning chief at BMP; Edward Mason, managing director of Claydon Heeley; Steve Barton, a US direct marketing expert and Ogilvy One board director; and Simon Antenen, creative director at BBH-Unlimited.
BMP and Claydon Heeley won a through-the-line account for computer manufacturer Compaq in October, which provided the catalyst for establishing the joint venture. It will open its doors with 20m worth of business, including some elements of the Claydon
Heeley Compaq work, two confidential projects and four live pitches.
Mason says: “This is not a conventional start up: we are already a top 40 agency and intend to be very significant, very soon.”
BMP has flirted with direct marketing in a variety of ways over the past few years.
In 1997 it appointed Stuart Archibald to set up an internal direct marketing department only to see him leave last June. BMP chairman James Best says: “We haven’t really developed direct marketing competence of the size and style that befits us. We have experimented with various different options but this one is the biggest and the best. It has got great potential.”