[B&T HAS UPDATED THIS STORY] Outgoing CEO of CHE Proximity and CEO of Clemenger Group, Chris Howatson, has debunked industry gossip that his new start-up had snared Aussie Home Loans as its inaugural client.
B&T reported the news this morning, however, Howatson has since told B&T that it “wasn’t true” and “even it were, I’m on a 12-months non-compete”.
On Monday, Howatson shocked the industry when he announced his departure from CHEP after 19 years. Following him out the door was CHEP’s ECD Ant White, who revealed they would be starting their own agency B&T can reval is to be called Howatson+White.
CHEP currently handles all of Aussie’s creative and B&T reported that the two had recently parted ways. B&T now understands that not to be true and apologises for any confusion.
B&T has sought comment from Aussie.
Both Howatson and White do not leave the agency until Febraury 2021.
On Howatson’s decision to leave his chief executive position, B&T understands he and Clemenger BBDO chair Robert Morgan were at odds over the agency’s recent “win at all costs” pitch to snare the Samsung business.
However, Morgan acknowledged the contribution of Howatson to the Group in a statement to media following the news that Howatson would be leaving CHEP.
“Chris has shown fantastic leadership at CHE Proximity over the past eight years and prior to that with Clemenger BBDO in Melbourne and Brisbane. He has certainly made the most of the opportunity to run CHE Proximity and has built a fantastic Agency,” Morgan said at the time.
“He leaves CHE Proximity in safe hands and I trust the Agency will continue to do exciting, new age and innovative work and solutions for our clients, as we head into 2021 and in the coming years.
Meanwhile, Howatson said of his departure: “CHE Proximity and Clemenger Group has been my life for the last 19 years. I’ve learned from the very best people, worked on the very best clients, and been steered by the very best in Robert Morgan. I’m grateful for every opportunity I’ve been afforded and know the team will continue CHEP’s insatiable appetite for innovation and creative excellence.”
CHEP was a big winner at last week’s B&T Awards taking home five gongs including Best Media Campaign, Best Data Driven Marketing Campaign, Victorian Agency Of The Year, Marketing Tech Company Of The Year and Direct Response/Performance Agency Of The Year.
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