Ogilvy launches new agency to handle conflict business

Ogilvy Group UK is launching a second-string agency called Mather Communications to handle conflict business. The main agency will be renamed Ogilvy Advertising as part of the move.

Mather Communications, which opens immediately but does not officially launch until February, will be run by chief operating officer of Ogilvy & Mather London Steve Lepley. It launches with three as-yet unnamed clients.

The Ogilvy Group already handles potential conflict business after its direct marketing and sales promotion shop Dialogue Marketing Group was appointed to handle Barclays’ Wealth Management account earlier this year (MW June 1). American Express is a long-standing Ogilvy client.

Mather Communications has its own office in Westferry Circus, close to the Ogilvy Group’s Canary Wharf headquarters. As well as housing conflict clients, the new agency will also pitch for new business.

Ogilvy Group chairman and chief executive Gary Leih says: “It’s in the nature of the business that conflict issues will arise. Launching Mather Communications is a pre-emptive move that will allow us to continue to grow our business unimpeded by future client concerns.”

The launch is the latest in a series of changes at Ogilvy since Leih joined last year. Guy Lambert, previously joint managing director of OgilvyOne, was appointed managing director of Ogilvy & Mather in July. That followed a restructure of the company which saw 11 separate Ogilvy businesses brought together under the Ogilvy Group UK banner. The company has also just opened a Central London office in Victoria.

The launch of Mather Communications re-establishes the Mather name as a standalone brand in the UK for the first time in more than 100 years.

The original Mather agency was founded by Edmund Mather in 1850.

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