Mustoes buys out Japanese boss to go solo

Nick Mustoe is returning to the advertising frontline after the agency
he founded bought itself back from Japanese advertising giant Hakuhodo.
He will resume the role of managing director as Mustoes relaunches
itself as an independent.

Mustoe, who l…

MustoeNick Mustoe is returning to the advertising frontline after the agency he founded bought itself back from Japanese advertising giant Hakuhodo. He will resume the role of managing director as Mustoes relaunches itself as an independent.

Mustoe, who launched the Mustoe Merriman Herring & Levy agency in 1993, took the role of chairman after 49% of the agency was sold to Hakuhodo in 2002. The Japanese outfit increased its stake to 80% in 2005.

Fellow Mustoe founder Andrew Levy returns to the management team as planning director.

The relaunch of the agency sees Ben Friend and Simon Brotherson reunited as joint creative partners. The duo previously worked together at The Leith Agency from 1998 to 2000. Friend joins from Red Bee Media, while Brotherson joined Mustoes as head of art in 2005. John Merriman remains as creative director across a number of accounts.

The relaunched Mustoes, which is moving to new offices in Clerkenwell, east London, will also incorporate All Net Technology (ANT). The digital agency was launched in 2005 as a standalone joint venture between Mustoe and Sebastian Bench.

Mustoes’ clients include Kia, Energy Savings Trust and Take a Break. Mustoe says/ "It’s our job to help brands find something really meaningful and different to say that people will want to talk about. Then we show them how to execute it in a captivating way."

Hakuhodo bought its 49% stake in Mustoe Merriman Levy in 2002 in a bid to strengthen its position in the UK. It is believed Mustoe’s senior management was frustrated at Hakuhodo’s failure to invest in similar agencies across Europe despite upping its stake in 2005.

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