Andrew Deitchman of Red Cell to Head Up New Team

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LONDON ( -- London hotshop Mother is set to open its New York office and is on the verge of signing Andrew Deitchman, global director of marketing communications strategy and business development at WPP Group's Red Cell, to head up the new team.

Mother declined to comment on the appointment, but executives close to the deal expect Mr. Deitchman to take up his new role and start recruiting staff for the New York office next month. No clients have yet been confirmed, although it's believed there is at least one piece of business in the pipeline.

Delicate negotiations with WPP
Mr. Deitchman has a six-month, no-compete contract at Red Cell, but delicate negotiations are under way to enable him to start with Mother as soon as possible. Neither Mr. Deitchman nor Red Cell CEO Lee Daley returned calls for comment.

WPP's chief executive, Martin Sorrell, is known to be fierce about holding people to their contracts. Last year, he insisted Red Cell's former chief executive, Luca Lindner, work out his six-month contract before he was able to join Publicis Groupe's D'Arcy Worldwide as CEO for Africa, Europe and West Asia.

Hottest of U.K. hotshops
Mr. Deitchman entered the WPP fold last June when Red Cell bought Headlight Vision, a research and strategic brand consultant known for its cutting-edge global intelligence products. He is not a well-known figure in the U.K., just as Mother's founders -- Robert Saville, Stef Calcraft and Mark Waites -- were not big names when they founded the agency six years ago. Since then, Mother has become London's most talked about agency and last year won more new business than any other shop in the U.K. Its humorous brand of advertising has attracted clients including Unilever and Coca-Cola Co.

Mother works without account executives, and about half of the 85 London staffers are creatives. Its principles began scouting U.S. locations last fall, and the agency is expected to set up a similar system in its New York office when it opens later this year.

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