Direct marketing agency Sutch Webster WMGO Direct has been acquired by The Haygarth Group for 65,000 and will be merged into its existing below-the-line agency, The Target Practice. Haygarth also owns sales promotion consultancy BLP (MW last week).
In the past five months, Sutch Webster has lost the 5m RAC business and the 3m Mercury One-2-One account. It brings four clients, Freemans, Securicor, Federal Express and IPC magazines, to the new agency, which will be called The Target Practice – Sutch Webster.
There seems to be a discrepancy as to how many staff are involved in the acquisition. Director of The Haygarth Group Stephen Morris says the group has taken on 15 new people. But WMGO chief executive Graham Green says there were only about eight in the agency.
Green adds that Sutch Webster finance director Martin Hook has been made redundant. He adds that the WMGO Group is “well shot” of Sutch Webster.
Green comments: “I did everything to encourage John Sutch and Keith Webster [joint managing directors] to do a management buyout. Neither of them would put any of their money into the company. Doesn’t that say a lot about what they thought of it?”
Both Webster and Sutch will be directors in the new operation, sharing responsibility with The Target Practice director David Lubbock.
The deal was made in the same week that Sutch Webster offended its biggest client, Freemans, by not telling the company that its creative director Nick Moore had quit. Freemans read the news in the press.