Bates shake-up sparks top exits

Bates Communications chairman Marcus Evans and planning director Jeremy Hall have resigned following Bates Dorland’s decision to integrate its above and below-the-line agencies.

The board of Bates Communications threatened to resign last week when it emerged that a single group structure with one board and one bottom line was planned between Bates Dorland and its direct marketing, sales promotion and new media arms – Bates Communications, 141 and Bates Interactive respectively (MW April 22).

Bates UK chairman Graham Hinton hired direct marketing veteran Graham Green to sit on the executive committee as vice chairman and oversee below-the-line operations.

According to a statement from Bates UK, Evans “will continue to be available to Bates and its clients as required over the next few months,” while Hall is understood to be working out a period of notice. Neither are understood to have jobs to go to.

Sources within Bates believe more staff will leave. One insider says: “They [the executive board] will be lucky to have one board member left at Bates Communications or 141.”

But Graham Green disagrees. “I don’t expect mass defections, although I could be wrong,” he says.

The plans for Bates UK’s below-the-line agencies appear to be at odds with the strategy set out by Bates Worldwide chief Michael Bungey and 141 Worldwide account director Colin Hearn to integrate all below-the-line agencies under the 141 Worldwide brand.

On May 1 the UK’s three below-the-line agencies were due to be renamed 141 in line with 42 other below-the-line offices worldwide. But as the London operation is now called 141 Blue Skies after the acquisition of Graham Green’s company Blue Skies, the plans are on hold.

Cover Story, page 28

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