When Rover Cars shifted all of its pan-European business into the fledgling Kevin Morley Marketing in 1992 the three pivotal characters making the decision on the Rover board were chief executive George Simpson, Rover Europe managing director Graham Morris and Rover Group managing director John Towers. Of the trio only Towers, now chief executive, remains.

But the turnover at the top and the BMW takeover have provoked speculation about KMM’s hold on the account and the Rover board is known to have discussed the issue in the past two months.

Simpson moved to Lucas Industries shortly after BMW bought Rover in February 1994 and Morris moved to Audi in March this year. Their replacements, Towers and John Russell, sales and marketing managing director, support the shift.