GGT, BST.BDDP merge operations in London

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LONDON -- One year after GGT Group, London, announced the acquisition of BDDP Group, a respected but debt-loaded network based in France that's twice GGT's size, the enlarged group has announced the merger of its two agencies in London.

GGT Advertising Limited and BST.BDDP, both members of the GGT Group plc since earlier this year, are merging on October 17 to form BDDP GGT, which will be the London hub of BDDP Advertising Worldwide. The network has billings in excess of $2bn and is represented in more than 35 countries via 95 owned or associate agencies.

BDDP GGT will also create one of London's 15 biggest agencies, with annual billings of $373m and a staff of 125. The headquarters for BDDP Advertising Worldwide remains in Paris.

The new London office, along with Wells Rich Greene, BDDP, New York, will become in time important hubs alongside Paris for the BDDP network, says Mike Greenlees, chairman and chief executive officer of the GGT Group.

Joint chairmen of BDDP GGT are John Sharkey and Paul Bainsfair, founders of BST. Managing director will be Grant Duncan, previously managing director of GGT Advertising. Trevor Beattie, former creative director at TBWA, London, and currently with GGT, will be creative director of the new agency.

Greenlees says: "The merger enhances our presence and strength in the U.K., a critical global advertising market and it provides our BDDP advertising network with a flagship London agency. Our ambition remains to create in BDDP Worldwide an international advertising network renowned for its creative and strategic excellence. The formation of BST.BDDP will move us closer to achieving that goal."

Greenlees ads: "This is probably one of the last main steps as far as consolidation goes."

Copyright October 1997, Crain Communications Inc.

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