Omnicom to merge Craik Jones with Proximity

Craik Jones Watson Mitchell Voelkel is set to be merged with BBDO sister agency Proximity. The move will now call into question potential client conflicts between the Omnicom-owned agencies.

The news follows a difficult year for Craik Jones and the recent loss of Gap, which moved its account into Kittcatt Nohr Alexander Shaw (MW August 14), and Boots, which is currently its direct marketing.

The merger is yet to be finalised, with Craik Jones staff expected to be moved into Proximity’s office.

It is not clear how the merger will affect existing clients handled by the two agencies. Proximity currently handles Mars’ food brands including Dolmio and Uncle Ben’s, while Craik Jones works on Unilever-owned brands Bertolli’s and Knorr.

Craik Jones also works on Diageo-owned brands Bell’s Scotch and Gordon’s Gin, while Proximity handles Edrington Group, which produces a number of whiskey brands including Famous Grouse.

In other potential clients conflicts, Craik Jones also holds the Virgin account, while Proximity works for Eurostar, which is currently reviewing its DM business.

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