Executive and Enterprise in hunt for new agencies after Yellow M closure


By The Drum Team | Editorial

June 20, 2002 | 3 min read

The Scottish Executive and Scottish Enterprise are being forced to look for new creative advertising agencies after Yellow M was put into receivership by founder Mike Dethick around two weeks ago, after the senior management team walked out following failed MBO talks.

The Executive, for which Yellow M had created campaigns to promote digital access and healthy eating, is to re-open talks with ad agencies which pitched for the business last year, but were unsuccessful.

Yellow M joined the Scottish Executive’s roster last July after pitching and winning the business as part of a consortium named YellowM Extra, which also consisted of Quantum Media and Burt Greener PR. However, Quantum Media closed its Edinburgh office just two months after winning the account.

Roger Williams, head of communications at the Executive, said: “There has been no final decision made yet, but clearly there is enough work to merit a third agency. Our initial plan was to provide more choice for Ministers and commissioning departments, and the worth of that has already been proven.”

Williams will now have to make a decision on which of the unsuccessful agencies that fell at the final hurdle last year will be appointed. A decision is expected shortly.

Scottish Enterprise is also to re-tender the creative advertising account for its Small Business Gateway division, business which was previously handled by the defunct Yellow M.

Former Yellow M MD Ian Wright, client services director Jill Taylor and joint creative directors David Isaac and Kevin Bird resigned, following three months of negotiations in which they concluded Dethick, who put Yellow M Newcastle into receivership around six weeks ago, had falsified the financial status of the agency.

The closure of Yellow M in Scotland saw 13 staff made redundant. The four managers have since launched a new ad agency, called family, taking on the majority of Yellow M’s private sector clients.

Dethick was unavailable to comment on the situation with Yellow M Scotland and, according to sources at the new agency, he has been incommunicado since the MBO talks began.

Scottish Enterprise also expected to publish the tender document for its media account, which is currently held by The Media Shop (Scotland). The media account will be enlarged due to the integration of Careers Scotland into the Enterprise organisation.

Alan McIntyre of Scottish Enterprise said: “We have some alignment issues to address due to bringing Careers Scotland under our remit. Reports that Feathers are the favourite are nonsense. There is no hidden agenda here.”


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