Black Cat heads resurface to form integrated agency

Two former board directors of Black Cat, one of the UK’s largest independent below-the-line agencies before its sale to the WPP Group in 2003, have launched an integrated agency called Burn.

Julie Cheetham, the former managing partner, and Guy McConnell were part of the senior management team that led the sale of Black Cat, which was later merged with WPP’s RMG network and relocated to JWT’s offices at the start of 2004.

Cheetham left the agency after 13 years at the end of last year to take a career break (MW September 30, 2004) following the departure of founders Stephen Callander, Diana Tombs and Charles Lauber, who left the agency soon after the merger.

Cheetham has teamed up with McConnell to launch Burn, which opens for business this week to coincide with Bonfire Night.

The agency is based in Richmond and specialises in response advertising. Its founding clients are Maiden Outdoor, Reed Exhibitions, financial exchange Zopa and recently launched not-for-profit water brand One. Several other brands are thought to be close to signing up, from sectors including IT, travel and fast food.

McConnell says: “Rather than walking into the trap of being yet another marketing agency, we’ve spent a great deal of time talking to clients and trying to understand the areas of the current agency model that work for them and, just as importantly, the areas that don’t.”

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