MMBF money woes

In a move that has caught the agency community by surprise, Toronto's Miller Myers Bruce DallaCosta has stumbled financially and gone into receivership.The agency, which was founded in 1984, is now in the hands of Coopers & Lybrand of Toronto.At press-time,...

In a move that has caught the agency community by surprise, Toronto’s Miller Myers Bruce DallaCosta has stumbled financially and gone into receivership.

The agency, which was founded in 1984, is now in the hands of Coopers & Lybrand of Toronto.

At press-time, senior management with mmbd could not be reached for comment.

mmbd is owned by The Lopex Group, an international communications company with headquarters in London.

Lopex, which operates more than 30 firms in 11 countries, bought a minority interest in mmbd in 1990 and bought the balance of the agency two years ago.

Dennis Bruce, a co-founder of mmbd and former chairman and director of creative services, says he understands Lopex has run into financial troubles in Europe and, as part of a restructuring, has decided to close mmbd because the agency is predicting it will lose money this year.

Bruce, who left mmbd two years ago along with fellow agency co-founder Marty Myers – the two are now partners in a new agency, Bruce & Myers Bruce & Myers – says the shop was in good financial health until a few months ago, when it ran into difficulties.

It is understood, several of mmbd’s large accounts have recently tightened their belts, and events took a sharp turn for the worse in May, when ExperComp Services, a division of ibm, pulled its Ambra personal computer account as part of a global restructuring.

While the fate of mmbd remains unknown – neither the agency nor Coopers & Lybrand have made their intentions known – Bruce suspects that, unless Lopex has a change of heart, the receiver will simply close the doors.

‘Marty and I spent 11 years of our lives building that place, and it’s sad to see it disappear like this,’ Bruce says.

‘I feel terribly sorry for the people there,’ he says. ‘It’s a sad day.’ PS