Wall will not be making waves

I was pleased you reported the appointment of Louise Wall to the position of managing director at Option One in “Option One lures Clarke Hooper chief” (MW March 31). However, there were some inaccuracies in your article.

As you correctly state, there has been a vacancy for the position of managing director since Option One parted company with Paul Cunningham. I have personally spent the past year searching for the ideal candidate and believe Wall to be that person. You wrongly assert that she has been recruited to revive the agency’s fortunes. Option One continues to be a highly successful, profitable agency but the company needs a dynamic young managing director to ensure we lead rather than follow.

Yes, you are right it will be a tough job. I should know, I’ve been doing it for the past ten years. But Wall will not have to change the culture that has made Option One so uniquely successful. Rather, she is determined to enhance it and exploit a special formula that has attracted so many excellent staff and clients.

Your article compares Option One with an ocean liner. I like the comparison, but the ship is not for turning. The company is going full-steam ahead and, together with Wall, will continue to welcome on board clients and staff to enjoy the exhilarating journey.

You continue to report that the decision to fill the post of managing director has been imposed by GGT. As a director of GGT, I would like to put the record straight. GGT Group’s success has stemmed largely from encouraging operating companies’ chief executives, such as myself at Option One, to run their companies independently, with help from the plc as appropriate.

As usual, my fellow directors at GGT have provided splendid support on this issue.

In the context of GGT Group issues, you have erroneously reported again on some reorganisation that took place last year. Option One’s direct marketing business was not merged with GGT Direct.

What we did decide, in close consultation with the client, was that we should position the Vauxhall Motors direct marketing team at Option One, alongside the GM Card group at GGT Direct.

Option One remains a fully integrated sales promotion and direct marketing agency. We continue to employ a mixture of sales promotion and direct marketing professionals, and I estimate that the company’s business is split 50:50 between these two disciplines.

Finally, you mention my recent discussions with Richard Bailey. It is true that Bailey and I discussed a potential acquisition. However, we came to the conclusion that too many conflicts of culture and clients ruled out a successful merger. Bailey did not “pull out” as you state; we together decided that it was best we continued on our separate ways.

Bob Bayley

Chairman and chief executive

Option One Group

London SW1

London SW1

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