WPP’s United Closes London Office

NEW YORK WPP Group is shutting down the London office of its United network and shifting the remaining clients and possibly some of its 40 staffers to sibling agency Grey in London, a United executive confirmed.

The move was expected as executives last month said the shift was under discussion.

United COO Laurence Mellman said the office would close and that its remaining clients such as COI (government account), Georgia-Pacific and The London Paper will be transferred to Grey’s London office along with some staffers.

He said the number of staffers who would move to Grey was not yet determined.

Robert Campbell, who managed United London with Jim Kelly, resigned in January. Mellman said Kelly is in discussions with WPP about a future role.

WPP bought HHCL and renamed it HHCL Red Cell in 2005, until Red Cell was rebranded last year under the Voluntarily United Group of Creative Agencies. Red Cell last year also shed dozens of its offices. Without London, there are eight United agencies.

Andy Berlin, chairman of the United network, declined to comment.

BSkyB, which had been United London’s largest client, departed four months ago, setting the stage for the office’s demise.

Meanwhile, Grey London is still searching for a new CEO since Tamara Ingram in February assumed global responsibility on the network’s Procter & Gamble account.