Griffin Bacal rules out Court Burkitt merger

Griffin Bacal has denied industry speculation that it is about to merge with Court Burkitt – but the agency is not ruling out a merger with another Omnicom-owned agency.

Managing director Jonathan Hoare says he talked about a merger with Court Burkitt chairman Hugh Burkitt a year ago but the discussion did not lead anywhere.

Former TBWA GGT Simons Palmer chairman Hoare, who claims to have turned Griffin Bacal’s finances around since taking over three years ago, indicates that the agency is more likely to seek a merger with another Omnicom agency.

He says: “A merger with an Omnicom agency would make more sense for us than Court Burkitt, but I am not looking to push the button on anything at the moment.”

He adds: “There is no doubt I am going to try to do something in the next six months or so, but my natural leaning has got to be towards Omnicom.”

Industry speculation suggests Griffin Bacal might eventually merge with Maher Bird Associates.

Court Burkitt is preparing to re-pitch for one of its core accounts, UDV-owned Bell’s whisky and Archer’s, which have a combined value of £5m.

Burkitt denies the agency is seeking a merger. “There is no truth in these rumours at all. We don’t need to form an alliance with anyone. We are already a member of a European network, Alto,” he says.

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