New Mercier Gray shop in £7.5m win

Rob Gray and Anton Mercier, the men behind the defunct media neutral agency Mercier Gray, have launched a new agency and have won the business for Teletext’s &£7.5m advertising account.

The Teletext business moves from Delaney Lund Knox Warren & Partners and includes advertising, promotion and online activity. Two other agencies pitched for the business, but the incumbent did not repitch.

The new venture, called Purity, has been officially launched this week from Mercier Gray’s former base in Covent Garden with a 15-strong team. The duo have cherry-picked a handful of staff from their former agency and retained six clients, including Kraft Foods and ThinkBingo.

Teletext, which restructured its business last year (MW October 7, 2004), says its needs will be better served by a smaller agency as it embarks on a more regional advertising strategy.

Purity, which like Mercier Gray will be an independent media neutral agency, has already created its first campaign for Teletext Holidays. It includes radio and press spots and breaks this week.

Mercier Gray was put into liquidation at the end of last year (MW November 25, 2004). But Gray and Mercier bought back the goodwill and the name and set up Mercier Gray Communications in the interim, before changing the name to Purity.

Gray says that his former agency was a “child of the Nineties” and that the model that applied for a mid-sized integrated agency ten years ago no longer applies today.

He adds that Purity will operate using a consultancy model, whereby the agency charges for the time spent on each client’s business. Gray and Mercier will be chairman and managing director of the new agency respectively – the same roles they occupied at Mercier Gray.

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