AMV to fold specialist shop Minerva

Abbott Mead Vickers. BBDO’s second-string agency and integrated specialist Minerva is to fold. Its business will be moved into AMV and sister agency Proximity London.

It is not clear whether all of Minerva’s employees, thought to number about 40, will transfer to either AMV or Proximity – or indeed what will happen to Minerva chief executive Steve Carrigan.

The move has been triggered by the proposed integration of the Sainsbury’s local marketing business out of Minerva and into AMV, which handles the supermarket’s main national advertising business. This follows the integration of the GE account into AMV from Minerva earlier this year.

Minerva would have been left with just a handful of accounts, including some DaimlerChrysler business, Douwe Egberts Coffee and Polaris World Resort.

If the proposal to close Minerva and re-allocate clients goes ahead, it is likely that Masterfoods’ Dolmio and Uncle Ben’s sauces will not go to AMV, which holds the conflicting Campbell’s account.

AMV Group chairman Michael Baulk says: “This proposal reflects both the increasing demand from our clients for high-quality work and, on some accounts, the genuine integration of our service to them.”

Minerva was originally set up as AMV Advance to handle the Sainsbury’s local marketing and advertising briefs. Earlier this year, it lost below-the-line work for Pizza Hut to Elvis.

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