Richard Church, the European chief of 141 Worldwide, is leaving the WPP-owned agency and is understood to be planning a new venture.
Church – a founder of the Dialogue Marketing Group, which, along with 141, is aligned to the Ogilvy Group – is 141 Worldwide’s chairman for Europe, Middle East and Africa.
He is currently on holiday and, although he will return to the agency, it is thought he will leave in the coming weeks. 141 Worldwide is believed to be seeking a replacement, but the UK agency will continue to be run by chief executive Steve Harding, who reports to Church.
Ogilvy bought Dialogue in 2000 and subsequently merged it with its own sales promotion agency Promotional Campaigns Group. WPP then bought Tarantula last year and merged it with 141 Worldwide to create what it claimed was the UK’s fifth-largest below-the-line agency (MW March 31, 2005).
Harding, who was Tarantula’s chief executive, was handed responsibility for the new agency, which has high-profile clients including Coca-Cola, HSBC and Boeing.
Previously a Cordiant Communications subsidiary, 141 lost Allied Domecq’s spirits business in 2003 when the drinks company decided to move its account to Publicis – a move that sent Cordiant’s shares into freefall and sparked the chain of events that culminated in the group’s &£266m sale to WPP.