WPP Buys Half of London Hotshop

19 April 2007

LONDON: Although Sir Martin Sorrell is a master tactician, his reasons for buying an all-but-controlling stake in London creative hotshop Clemmow Hornby Inge are not immediately obvious. And no-one is talking about anything as vulgar as the price paid by WPP Group for its 49.9% holding.

CHI, which will continue to operate independently (for the time being) is admired for its creative work for clients such as British Gas, Carphone Warehouse, Royal Bank of Scotland, Teletext, Toyota and the Telegraph Media Group.

But WPP is hardly bereft of creative wizardry within its own purlieu: JWT, O&M and Grey come to mind. So, wonder observers, what is Sir Martin up to?

One theory bandied among those short on hard facts is that CHI is intended to provide a much needed shot of adrenalin for WPP's anaemic United micro-network - created in 2005 from the remnants of its failed Red Cell operation.

United currently houses nine key agencies, among them Berlin Cameron in New York, the former HHCL in London, Sra Rushmore in Spain and Les Ouvriers in France.

Data sourced from Telegraph.co.uk; additional content by WARC staff