RKCR/Y&R breakaway in search for partners

The start-up agency being launched by Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R executives James Murphy, David Golding and Ben Priest is looking for more partners, including digital specialists.

Murphy%20120The start-up agency being launched by Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R executives James Murphy, David Golding and Ben Priest is looking for more partners, including digital specialists.

It is thought that the new agency, which will not launch until the start of next year, wants to make digital an integral part of its offering.

Murphy, Golding and Priest, RKCR’s chief executive, planning director and creative director respectively, resigned last week but cannot launch their as-yet unnamed agency until their six-month notice periods come to an end in January (MW last week).

There has been speculation that Virgin could become the agency’s launch client, with some sources drawing comparisons with the launch of Clemmow Hornby Inge (now CHI & Partners). CHI took Carphone Warehouse from TBWA/London as its launch client and chief executive Charles Dunstone sat on its advisory board. There have even been suggestions that Virgin boss Sir Richard Branson could have an advisory role at Murphy, Golding and Priest’s new agency.

It is thought that WPP continues to negotiate with the trio to keep them within the group. Negotiations could include lucrative new contracts and sources say talks have not come to a close yet. It has been mooted that WPP’s chief executive Sir Martin Sorrell could back the start-up agency.

Murphy has been with RKCR since it was founded in 1995 and was groomed to take over from Jim Kelly after the agency’s sale to Y&R in 1999. Murphy brought in Golding from WCRS and Priest from TBWA in 2004.

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