In a move that has been on the cards for over a year, BBDO is to integrate its British below-the-line interests into a single shop branded Proximity London.

It will incorporate BHWG Proximity, formed last year with just such a move in mind [WAMN: 02-Jun-00], with sibling sales promotion specialist Clarke Hooper Momentum and e-shop Traffic.

Heading the merged agency as chief executive is Simon Hall, chairman and chief executive of BBDO’s Proximity Worldwide, leading a board that includes former CHM chairman Barry Clarke and managing director Colin Bareham, plus Traffic’s client services director Mark Wooding.

The merger creates an agency with combined staffing of 335 – although thirty employees have lost their jobs in the melding. Shared clients include Alliance & Leicester, British Telecom, COI Communications and Volkswagen.

[Industry veterans recall that Simon Hall first sprang to fame in the mid-80s as the brash 22-year-old head of London shop Donnelley Direct Marketing – long since defunct – when he proclaimed via the industry press that direct marketers upward of age 28 were over the hill. A self-fulfilling prophesy, queried one industry cynic?]

News source: CampaignLive (UK)