Red faces at Euro RSCG over Ken Livingstone link

Euro RSCG is at a loss to explain how a senior member of its creative team could be working with Labour renegade Ken Livingstone on his campaign to become Mayor of London – while the agency is simultaneously pitching for the Labour Party account.

Euro RSCG managing partner and creative head Mark Wnek admits he doesn’t know whether joint deputy creative director Chris Herring is still working on ads for Livingstone’s campaign, after the MP quit Labour to stand as an independent candidate.

At the same time Frank Dobson, Labour’s official candidate for London mayor, is understood to be working with TBWA GGT Simons Palmer.

Herring took charge of a campaign for Livingstone while he was joint creative director at Mustoe Merriman Herring Levy.

Herring took the business with him when he left the agency in June last year. He joined Euro RSCG in January.

Euro RSCG is on a shortlist of four agencies pitching for Labour’s business at the next General Election. The other agencies are J Walter Thompson, TBWA GGT Simons Palmer and Saatchi & Saatchi.

Wnek says his agency is committed to pitch for the Labour account.

Asked if Herring’s work with Livingstone, if still continuing, would be put to a stop, Wnek says: “One would have thought so.”

Euro managing director Chris Pinnington says: “I know Livingstone has been working with Chris [Herring]. I also know that Livingstone has been looking round a few agencies.”

Pinnington says he does not know if Herring is still working for the mayoral candidate, and adds: “You will have to ask Chris [Herring].”

Labour Party assistant general secretary Phil Murphy says: “Euro RSCG is still on the shortlist and is not working for Ken Livingstone as a firm.”

Herring, Livingstone’s campaign headquarters and Labour’s press office were all unavailable for comment as Marketing Week went to press.

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