Louise Wall, managing director of sales promotion agency Clarke Hooper, is to join Option One in the same role amid speculation that she has been brought in to revive the agency’s fortunes.
Wall has accepted the job which Richard Bailey, managing director of the tba agency, is understood to have turned down. Bailey’s appointment is believed to have been almost finalised before he pulled out.
Wall, who has been at Clarke Hooper for more than six years, will be reporting to Option One chairman Bob Bayley who has filled the role of managing director since the departure of Paul Cunningham who left in 1993 to join Black Cat.
“It’s going to be a very tough job. I think she’s going to have to change the culture; a lot of people have been there a long while. It’ll be a bit like turning round an ocean liner,” says one agency source.
Other sources close to the board of Option One owner Gold Greenlees Trott claimed earlier this year (MW January 6) that a new managing director would be virtually imposed on the agency after concern over its performance in the past 12 months. At the time Bayley denied this would be the case.
GGT reorganised its below-the-line agencies at the end of last year when Option One’s direct marketing business was merged with GGT Direct (MW October 28). The direct marketing operation now functions under the GGT Direct name while Option One continues to handle sales promotion.
There are no plans to replace Wall at Clarke Hooper. Her role will be shared among the remaining board members.