Hotwire UK chief Benvie and MD Peddy exit agency

Hotwire UK chief executive Drew Benvie and deputy MD Giles Peddy are exiting the agency in separate moves.

Hotwire UK chief executive Drew Benvie and deputy MD Giles Peddy are exiting the agency in separate moves.

Benvie will depart on Wednesday and will soon launch his own agency, while Peddy will leave at the end of this month for a senior role at Lewis PR.

Hotwire group CEO Brendon Craigie told PRWeek UK there were no plans to replace the pair directly, due to the strength of the agency's existing management team.

Benvie, who founded Hotwire's digital offshoot 33 Digital in 2009, has been the firm's UK chief since 2011.

His new agency, Battenhall, is set to open its doors on March 8 and will focus on social media and PR. It will launch with three UK clients and five staffers, none of which come from Hotwire.

Benvie told PRWeek that Battenhall will be a “comms agency for the social media economy,” and a new way of providing comms support to brands. He added that “the agency model is ripe for disruption.”

Benvie said he had “optimistic” plans to make Battenhall, which will be based in offices opposite Google's Tech City Campus in the Shoreditch area of east London, “the next great agency.”

Peddy will take on the new role of group MD of Lewis PR's UK operations, reporting directly to CEO and founder Chris Lewis.

He will oversee a client portfolio that includes Good Technology, HCL, iRobot, and Pret A Manger, drive growth in the UK market, and work closely with regional heads across EMEA, US, and Asia-Pacific.

Benvie worked at Hotwire from 2001 to 2003 before returning in 2007 to lead its digital practice. Peddy joined the agency in 2007 to head IT and services practice, becoming deputy MD at the beginning of 2012.

Craigie wished the pair “all the best in their new ventures” after eight-and-a-half years at the agency for Benvie and six years for Peddy.

Hotwire UK MD Alex MacLaverty and 33 Digital MD Peter Sigrist will report directly to Craigie. Emma Hazan's role as deputy MD is unaffected.

This story originally appeared on the website of PRWeek UK, the sister publication of PRWeek at Haymarket Media.

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