United London axed by WPP

WPP has folded United London after merger talks with sister agency Grey London collapsed. The beleaguered agency, formerly known as HHCL/Red Cell, lost its two major clients, BSkyB and Alfa, late last year.

Jim Kelly, the managing partner of United London, is currently negotiating his gardening leave with the group. United’s clients including COI and News International’s thelondonpaper, will be moved into Grey. It is also understood that United deputy managing director Rhona Cairns and Richard Huntington, planning director, are in discussions with Grey over possible roles at the agency.

Meanwhile, Grey London’s head of planning John Lowery is moving from his role as as head of planning for Grey London to take on a new role with Grey Europe, Middle East and Africa. It is not clear what title he will have. The planning division will now be led by Guy Lambert and Simon Lambert, the deputy heads of planning. 

Grey is also seeking a London chief executive after Tamara Ingram’s move earlier this year to head WPP’s global Procter & Gamble business. Ingram is also the Grey UK group chairman.

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