‘Bespoke’ start-up TBL scoops Michelin brief

Michelin Tyres has handed an advertising project to start-up agency TBL, which opened its doors this month.

It is not clear how much the account is worth or which part of the business the agency will be working on. The deal does not affect the company’s existing agency, TBWA/London.

TBL was founded by Rob Muir – who has a client services background and has worked at agencies including Leo Burnett, Euro RSCG, Ogilvy & Mather and Mustoes – because he has become “frustrated” at the existing structure of agencies.

He says that TBL is “reinventing” the agency model and will offer clients a better service. He adds that the “pyramid structure” of agencies mean that many cannot afford to employ a broad enough skill base to give clients what they require.

Muir and the four other partners behind the start-up plan to operate TBL by using a network of up to 80 experienced creatives.

He says: “This allows the agency to develop bespoke solutions that are right for our clients business while ensuring that the creative execution is done by specialists in the field.”

Muir adds that the advertising industry needs “drastic re-invention” and is “in danger of making itself redundant”. TBL is based in the heart of Birmingham and aims to capitalise on the growth of major retail and financial services in the region and the “apparent lack of strong strategically led agencies outside London.”

Muir left Mustoes – where he was client services director and ran the Kia account across Europe as well as the Hitachi account – in September last year.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email customerservices@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here