The inexorable rise and rise of Simon Hall continues apace with the decision by BBDO Worldwide to launch Proximity Worldwide, a global below-the-line agency network.

Spearheading the new project is BBDO’s British flagship dm shop, Barraclough Hall Woolston Gray, whose chief executive Simon Hall will head the new network as chief executive and chair of its global board. Proximity will develop in two stages: with immediate effect a European network will be constructed, collectivising seventeen offices and some 1,700 staff; come September, the remainder of BBDO’s dm and sales promotion agencies will have been absorbed into the network and it will officially launch.

The Proximity board will include Michael Baulk, head of BBDO Europe, plus a number of senior managers from key markets. Former planning director of Bates Communications Jeremy Hall (no relation) will play a pivotal role as international head of strategy.

Commented Simon Hall [who gained widespread publicity for himself in the early 80s when, as the 21-year old newly-appointed managing director of the now defunct Donnelly Direct Marketing, he dismissed direct marketers beyond the age of 30 as over the hill]: "Our aim has been to create the next-generation network that marries direct marketing with interactive processes to create and nurture brand relationships."

News Source: CampaignLive (UK)