TBWA quietly kills off the Whybin moniker

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Dave Walden would turn in his grave. TBWA has quietly deleted Aussie Scott Whybin’s name from the title of the agency group he formed in NZ and Australia 21 years ago.

The move was made with no fanfare as part of a release announcing an Australian campaign for new client, Virgin Mobile. There was no official announcement in NZ.

However, Sydney-based Australasian ceo Paul Bradbury later confirmed the decision to remove Whybin’s name from the company.

“Going forward the agency will be known as TBWA Sydney, TBWA Melbourne and TBWA Auckland,” Bradbury said in a statement to Australian media (but not NZ).

Whybin announced his retirement from the agency he founded in April, explaining that after 21 years the last thing he wanted to be doing was just ads.

The adman was one of the early success stories to come out of The Campaign Palace in Melbourne in the 1970s and 1980s, helping TBWA establish its Australian beach-head.

The erasing of Whybin’s name from the agency marks the second time TBWA has expunged a founder from its brand.

The group removed reference to the late Neil Lawrence from Whybin Lawrence TBWA’s Sydney office after the late adman left the agency in 2004.

Scott Whybin said he plans to set up a new operation that would not be defined by the traditional conventions of advertising.

“There are a lot of things I want to do and you can’t do that in the traditional agency structure,” he said.

The changes have not impressed bloggers: “TBWA means nothing in Australia; they have taken the first steps to ensure it never will. The apprentices are now in charge of the water-logged boat,” wrote Wonka on the Mumbrella site.

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