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Who wants to buy some adam&eve founders?

Anyone want to hire a CEO, CSO, CCO and something or other to do with media?

These people, with a fairish track record at Adam&eveDDB – by any standards the UK’s (and, possibly, the world’s) most successful agency of the past three or four years – seem to be strangely without jobs.

Namely (former) CEO James Murphy, CSO David Golding, CCO Ben Priest (Priest is quite good at retail ads) and chief communications strategy honcho Jon Forsyth. Their CVs are a bit limited, showing an atypical loyalty to their employers even though Murphy, Golding and Priest are best known for their breakaway from RKCR/Y&R, which led to a year of legal action from their boss Sir Martin – something to do with a bank. Forsyth toiled at media shop Naked.

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Sometimes, though, you have to start again at the bottom. But Murphy has experience of the post room at Bates (post rooms were something to do with letters) and can probably make tea too. Golding was also at Bates although you can’t really see him on tea duties. If the calls don’t come they’ll probably get by. Mrs Golding is CEO of CHI in London while Mrs Murphy is a TV producer at BBH.

Mind you, in these days of equality, the girls might direct their spouses to, say, Uber. Don’t want them sitting around the house watching the racing on TV..

It’s true…adam&eve’s founders have replaced themselves with joint CEOs Tammy Einav and Matthew Goff, ECD Richard Brim, CSO Alex Hesz and chief production officer (that’s a new one) Anthony Falco (all five had similar roles, just one rung down).

So what will they and Omnicom, which owns DDB and owes them some money, really do next?

First of all they need to sort out the money, their earn-out which is due to complete at the end of the year. Nobody, maybe not even them, knows how much it will be but a sum of £60m has been suggested. Which sounds like a lot (hell, it is a lot) but Accenture has just paid about £50m for Karmarama (we think). So £60m (it might be more, of course) looks like a bargain. But maybe only if the four (or most of them) hang around.

Adam&eve has just won Samsung in the US (in a pitch led by Murphy) and, one imagines, Samsung is pretty keen for them to hang around too. Setting up a New York office is a tricky business, one that has confounded many ambitious UK agencies. Adam&eve has the resources of DDB to use (presumably) but, even so, the 30-strong team it is trying to recruit is a minnow by NYC standards. US clients expect lots of TLC (that’s not another place name) and Samsung’s Marc Mathieu won’t be any different. BBH’s Sir John Hegarty has acknowledged that he should have stayed in New York longer after BBH set up over there. So there’s lots of work to be done.

Adam&eveDDB may become another global brand within Omnicom (as we’ve suggested), its shiny new hotshop. But, as of now, there are four interesting individuals on the market. Maybe that Sir Martin will let bygones be bygones and give them a call?

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.

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