‘Bespoke’ start-up TBL scoops Michelin brief

Michelin Tyres has handed an advertising project to start-up agency TBL, which opened its doors this month.

It is not clear how much the account is worth or which part of the business the agency will be working on. The deal does not affect the company’s existing agency, TBWA/London.

TBL was founded by Rob Muir – who has a client services background and has worked at agencies including Leo Burnett, Euro RSCG, Ogilvy & Mather and Mustoes – because he has become “frustrated” at the existing structure of agencies.

He says that TBL is “reinventing” the agency model and will offer clients a better service. He adds that the “pyramid structure” of agencies mean that many cannot afford to employ a broad enough skill base to give clients what they require.

Muir and the four other partners behind the start-up plan to operate TBL by using a network of up to 80 experienced creatives.

He says: “This allows the agency to develop bespoke solutions that are right for our clients business while ensuring that the creative execution is done by specialists in the field.”

Muir adds that the advertising industry needs “drastic re-invention” and is “in danger of making itself redundant”. TBL is based in the heart of Birmingham and aims to capitalise on the growth of major retail and financial services in the region and the “apparent lack of strong strategically led agencies outside London.”

Muir left Mustoes – where he was client services director and ran the Kia account across Europe as well as the Hitachi account – in September last year.


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