Omnicom is in advanced talks to buy Beattie McGuinness Bungay, with a view to folding the TBWA/London breakaway back into its office. It is thought that TBWA-owned Omnicom has been talking to the agency for several months.
The agency’s co-founders, Andrew McGuinness, Bill Bungay and Trevor Beattie, acrimoniously left TBWA/London in 2005 to launch BMB.
TBWA/London has lost a number of high profile accounts since then, including the £12m McCain Foods business, which it lost to BMB a year after the agency launched following the end of a non-complete period. It has also seen a number of high profile arrivals and departures.
Matt Shepherd-Smith was promoted from managing director to chief executive of TBWA/London in February 2006 to replace McGuinness, while HHCL co-founder Steve Henry was brought in as a “creative name” to replace that of executive creative director and agency chairman Beattie. He left earlier this year.
Former European chief Paul Bainsfair left the agency and was later replaced by Tim Lindsay, who was last year appointed to be group chief executive of TBWA