Holmes Report 11 Oct 2017 // 9:18AM GMT
LONDON — MHP Communications has become the latest agency to snap up senior talent from Bell Pottinger, after the latter firm collapsed in disgrace last month.
Alex Bloxham, founding partner of Bell Pottinger's 60-strong Engage team, joins the Engine-owned agency as head of corporate, while Bell Pottinger Political deputy MD Jamie Lyons arrives as joint head of public affairs alongside MHP's James Gurling.
The duo's appointments come as numerous Bell Pottinger executives surface at rival agencies. Most notably, the agency's former crisis head Stuart Leach has launched a new sister firm for Pagefield that features 18 members of his former team. In addition, Claire Southeard has joined Lansons to oversee digital, while several other Bell Pottinger staffers have joined a range of London firms.
The MHP hires follow the arrival of Nick Barron from Edelman as deputy CEO and Mike Robb from Cicero to oversee financial services. In addition, CEO Alex Bigg has created a new MHP Media Unit led by former News of the World political editor Ian Kirby, since taking charge of the agency last year.
"[Bloxham and Lyons] both have first-class reputations for doing work of the highest quality and will define our corporate and public affairs offering," said Bigg. "I believe these hires are a real statement of intent about my ambition for the business. Following a successful summer in terms of client wins, we are building an industry-leading strategic communications consultancy and these hires represent a significant milestone in this process."
Recent new business for MHP includes uSwitch, Navigant, Liverpool Vision and BASF.