What is it about TBWA London?
Just when you thought the agency, which has had more upheavals over the past 20 years or so than hot dinners, had stabilised under chairman and CCO Peter Souter, an old AMV BBDO hand, through a combination of other seasoned old hands and the joys of the Lidl account, it’s all change again.
Souter’s two star hirings, creative directors Walter Campbell and Sean Doyle (right and left below), are on their way. Why? According to CEO Richard Stainer: Richard Stainer: “At TBWA, we continue to build a truly modern, multiskilled creative business. Sadly, change also means having to say goodbye to some truly talented individuals who have contributed a huge amount.”
Stainer’s trying to be nice but what he seems to mean is that the two are dinosaurs. Campbell worked on the Guinness ‘Surfer’ ad at AMV, regarded by many in the business as the best British ad in (fairly) recent memory.
TBWA is awaiting the arrive of a new ECD Graeme Douglas who’s chief strategy officer (these bloody titles) at a part of Havas. Douglas was a creative director of Wieden+Kennedy but his background actually says planner. Whatever, he seems a fully paid up member of the digerati.
You never quite know what’s at the bottom of these moves but it’s usually money. Campbell and Doyle don’t seem to have set the world on fire in their three years at TBWA, the most notable work being a Coco de Mer film directed by Rankin. This was sexy stuff but it doesn’t pay the bills.
Doubtless they’ll pop up somewhere else, separately or collectively. It’s a shame, though, when such talents are deemed disposable in the wonderful new digital era.