David Bell announces his departure from MercerBell

David Bell, co-founder and ECD of MercerBell, has announced that he is stepping back from the agency.

Bell announced his departure on LinkedIn on Friday, stating that he was proud of all of the ‘MercerBellians’ he has worked with over the years.

David Bell announced his departure from the agency on LinkedIn

Bell wrote: “Earlier this year I wrote a short tale about my first day in advertising, some 40 years ago. Today I am officially stepping down from my role as Executive Creative Director MercerBell, the Sydney based agency I started with Nick Mercer over 20 years ago.

“I would like to thank all the loyal MercerBellians I’ve had the pleasure to work with over the years. I’m so, so proud of you all, and I hope that you enjoy every happiness, joy and success.
Cheers DB”

He also concluded the post with a quote from Hunter S. Thompson: “Beware of looking for goals: look for a way of life. Decide how you want to live and then see what you can do to make a living within that way of life.”

Bell co-founded the customer experience agency with Nick Mercer in 1999. Earlier this year, Bell acknowledged the 20 year anniversary of the agency with an article on LinkedIn, reflecting back on the days he and Mercer resigned from M&C Saatchi and opened MercerBell.

“On the morning of Friday, 12 February 1999, we took the next big step and resigned. Nick had an employment contract, and as we were both senior members of M&C we wanted to do everything correctly”, he wrote.

“So, we made an appointment with the most senior person at M&C and went in to resign. It didn’t take long. Once we announced our intentions he looked us straight in the eye and said, ‘In my experience boys, in life and business you are either running from something… or to something. You two are running from something. Now leave’.”

Bell continued: “I knew that this was going to be an amazing adventure. I went up the stairs to meet Nick stopping briefly to Blu Tack the home made MercerBell sign on the front door. We were open for business. 15 March 1999.”

David Bell with CEO Julie Dormand and co-founder and chairman Nick Mercer

MercerBell was acquired by Saatchi & Saatchi, a member of the Publicis Groupe, in February 2016.

In October last year, MercerBell promoted its managing director, Julie Dormand, to CEO, as Mercer took the role of agency chairman.

Dormand credited Bell’s 40 year career in the advertising industry and his support of the industry body, ADMA, in her statement to Mumbrella.

“This year MercerBell co-founder and executive creative director, David Bell, passed the milestone of 40 years in advertising, 20 of which he has celebrated at MercerBell. David is leaving MercerBell to pursue some new and exciting business projects. Not only a committed leader of our agency, he has also been an active and supportive representative of industry body ADMA, and was heavily involved with setting up ADMA’s Creative School. David is the current Chairman of the 30 Below Awards for the 2019 AC&E Awards, and has always given his time freely as an industry mentor,” Domand said.

“It has been an absolute privilege to work with David Bell for the last 18 years. David has played an integral role in the MercerBell journey, and whilst we will all miss him greatly, we are excited about building on the legacy he has created and we wish him every success in his future endeavours.”

Mercer wished Bell well in the next chapter of his career.

“Dave Bell and I started MercerBell as joint business partners and built an award winning and successful agency for over 20 years. But now it’s time for DB to pursue new interests and I wish him the very best in his next chapter,” he said.

Bell is moving on to a new venture, Reo Surf, which he describes as a creative collective of ‘design, art, surf culture, chocolate and joy’.


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