Newcastle-based shop Yellow M is to open a London office following yesterday’s surprise hiring by the Conservative Party [WAMN, 17-May-00]. A "heavyweight, well-known" managing director is being urgently sought to head a seven-strong team in the capital.

Yellow M, founded in 1992, was chosen by William Hague and Tory chairman Michael Ancram after a shoot-out that included Bates and M&C Saatchi-owned The Immediate Sales Company. According to a Central Office mole, the decision was motivated by an urge to end the Tories’ link with the freres Saatchi, which dates back to 1978. "There comes a time when you reach the end of an era and move on," said the mole.

Yellow M chief executive Mike Dethick exulted, "It is a great win for us." Then, remembering his Geordie roots, he added hastily: "We are a grassroots agency and that is where we will still be coming from."

Dethick will personally work on the Tory account with the MD-designate and Yellow M planning director Ronnie Duncan. Media planning and buying will be handled by MediaVest.

News Source: CampaignLive (UK)