The creative director of TBWA pinned his resignation to a notice board on Monday and led his 50-strong creative team to the pub, on the basis that TBWA's merger with Simons Palmer Clemmow Johnson, famous for the Nike campaigns, did not guarantee their job security.
Beattie, 37, who lives in Hackney and takes the bus to work - in spite of his six-figure income - the result of acclaimed campaigns for Wonderbra, Pretty Polly and Nissan - was offered equity in the merged shop by Paul Simons, its new chief executive.
But he said he was making a stand after learning that although his future was secure, the merger could mean redundancies.
Yesterday he was lying low, but he was quoted in Campaign as saying: "I know I'm one of the chosen few, but I worry about how everyone else is treated."
But Mr Simons begged to differ with Mr Beattie's version of events last night, saying:"I told him I would be prepared to guarantee the job security of his staff. His leaving is probably personal, that he's had enough."
There was speculation that Beattie might have had another offer, or be planning to set up his own agency. Marianne MacdonaldReuse content