A seven-strong team, called De-construct, is one of the first breakaways to emerge from the ashes of digital communications group Deepgroup, which went into liquidation with the loss of 180 jobs this week.
De-construct is hoping to continue working with ‘as many [Deepend] clients as possible’, says former Deepend design director Fred Flade, one of the seven.
Deepgroup comprised six companies: Airtight, Backend, Gluemedia, Poolside, Relish and Sleeper; and seven offices in New York, Prague, Rome, San Francisco, Sydney, London and Toronto.
Former Deepend Worldwide creative director Simon Waterfall says the closure was brought about by a number of factors. The group’s bank, which he declines to name, along with his fellow founders Gary Lockton and David Streek, pulled the plug. A potential investment from ‘a large group’, which Deepgroup had been seeking over the past six months, fell through two weeks ago, just as the terrorist attacks closed Deepend’s New York office for a week.
‘[A large group’s involvement] would have been a small investment and a perfect partnership,’ Waterfall says. ‘[But] two weeks ago, we didn’t have a New York office and no economy. We couldn’t do the deal,’ he says. Former Deepgroup chief executive Gary Lockton says, ‘We’ve fought [to save the group] for a number of months. We’re trying to work out what’s best for the industry as a whole and for the people who’ve worked here.’
Deepgroup’s directors are in consultation with its liquidators about how best to service its clients, says Waterfall.
Deepgroup was launched in 1999 on the back of its largest subsidiary, Deepend London, which was founded in 1994 by Lockton, Waterfall and former Deepend Worldwide design director David Streek.
Lockton confirmed last month that the past six months had been ‘the toughest in our history’ but moved to quash rumours of widespread redundancies.