30 June 2000

Jettisoning fourteen years of independence, London ad shop Court Burkitt has accepted an unspecified offer from Omnicom, which plans to merge its latest buy with existing subsidiary Griffin Bacal to form Burkitt DDB.

Court Burkitt boss Hugh Burkitt breathed a sigh of relief at the done deal: “As an independent I felt I'd been swimming against every tide known to man," he admitted.

Burkitt becomes chair of the new £50 million-billing combined agency, with Griffin Bacal managing director Jonathan Hoare, switching to the same role in the enlarged company. Julian Calderara, former managing director of Court Burkitt, becomes deputy managing director of Burkitt DDB, while CB’s Jon Canning retains the role of creative director. His counterpart at Griffin Bacal, John Silver, is quitting the company.

Other senior appointments in the merged shop are Candice Knapper, who assumes the mantle of media director following Terry Edward's departure from the same position at Court Burkitt; while Griffin Bacal's Helen McDermott becomes client services director. The agencies’ 100 staff will move into new offices.

Both agencies handle a number of retail accounts, although conflict seems unlikely. Griffin Bacal's major clients include Hasbro, Sandal and Burberry; Court Burkitt's portfolio includes John Lewis, River Island, National History Museum and Peroni beer.

News Source: CampaignLive (UK)