U.K. hotshop Mother sails for New York City

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London hotshop Mother is set to open its New York office and is on the verge of signing Andrew Deitchman, global director-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.

Mr. Deitchman is on a six-month, no-compete contract at Red Cell, but delicate negotiations are underway to enable him to start with Mother as soon as possible. Neither Mr. Deitchman nor Red Cell Chief Executive Lee Daley returned calls for comment.

WPP Group Chief Executive Martin Sorrell is known to be fierce about holding people to their contracts. Last year, former Red Cell Chief Executive Luca Lindner worked out his six month contract before joining Publicis Groupe's D'Arcy as chief executive for Africa, Europe and West Asia.

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 (AA, Nov. 11, '02) 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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