The best-selling author and former Saatchi & Saatchi executive,
Michael Dobbs, is returning to advertising for the first time in eight
years as the chairman of a start-up called Spirit.
The new shop aims to combine the creativity of a London hotshop with the
global reach of a multinational network. It brings together the talents
of Mitch Levy, the art director on Lowe How-ard-Spink’s award-winning
’Smarienberg’ commercial for Smirnoff, and Richard Hammond, a former
executive vice-president of Bozell Worldwide.
’Spirit’s offering will be based on a ’centre of excellence’
philosophy,’ Hammond, the major shareholder, explained. ’Under the old
network system from the 70s and 80s, a really good creative idea could
get chiselled to pieces by organisational requirements. That will not
happen with us.’
Spirit will work with Walker Media as its preferred media partner and
will employ the multicultural creative group, World Writers, in order to
bolster its international creative credentials.
Dobbs, who shot to fame as the author of the political thriller, House
of Cards, said he had been tempted back into advertising because of
Spirit’s unique positioning. ’Spirit will be the first start-up to offer
an international perspective,’ he said.
He made his name in advertising in the early days of Saatchis, and rose
to be deputy chairman before quitting in 1990 to devote more time to
politics and writing. He was deputy chairman of the Conservative Party
from 1994 to 1995.
Levy, who resigned this week as a creative director of Lowes, first
worked with Hammond while at Leagas Delaney. During stints at TBWA, CDP
and BMP DDB, he has been involved in a number of famous campaigns for
clients such as Paxo, Hamlet and Mr Tom.
Hammond built up his expertise in the management of international
accounts during ten years working for Bozell Worldwide. He quit Bozell
late last year to work on starting up Spirit.