Trevor Beattie, the U.K.'s highest-profile adman and chairman and creative director of Omnicom Group's TBWA London, has quit the agency to start up his own shop, Beattie McGuinness Bungay.
Beattie is joined by Andrew McGuinness, the chief executive of TBWA London, and Bill Bungay, its deputy creative director. Film director/producer and husband of Claudia Schiffer, Matthew Vaughan, is also involved. The new agency has not confirmed any clients at the time of going to press.
The move comes after months of industry speculation, and is a huge blow to TBWA London, which has recently lost a number of key accounts, including $40 million financial services giant Abbey and Rupert Murdoch's News Group Newspapers, also worth nearly $40 million.
Beattie said in a statement, "This is the toughest decision I've ever had to make. TBWA has been my life for the past decade. It means everything to me. But this is something I want to do. It will be a new kind of agency."
Beattie, who recently produced an adults-only burlesque show at a London theatre, will offer branded entertainment, sponsorship and product placement in his new set-up.
Paul Bainsfair, president of TBWA Europe, will assume the title of chairman and CEO of TBWA London in addition to his existing duties. He said, "We are sorry so say goodbye to these guys, in particular, Trevor, whose contribution to the success of TBWA London over the past ten years has been outstanding."
Bainsfair has promoted Danny Brooke-Taylor and Tony McTear to become joint creative directors of the agency.
Beattie added, "We have no desire to create TBWA Lite. TBWA goes on. It remains the finest agency in London. TBWA will continue to do what it does brilliantly: creating brilliant ideas for brilliant clients. I will miss the people and the place, but I'll be cheering them on loudly from a little office somewhere".