Ousted chief of DMB&B is new COI boss

The Central Office of Information has appointed Tony Douglas, former joint chairman and chief executive of D’Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, as its new chief executive.

Douglas takes up the post at the end of September, replacing Mike Devereau who is moving to the Office of Public Service. The COI handles the Government’s advertising budget of about 63m and 60m worth of marketing and promotional activities.

He takes the helm at the COI in the midst of an internal restructure. At the beginning of the year, the COI lost its hegemony over Whitehall advertising. Departments are now able to select their own agencies. The COI is reviewing its media operations.

Douglas has been out of the advertising spotlight since he was ousted from DMB&B in February 1995. He left the agency after its US parent appointed the group’s below-the-line boss John Farrell as chairman.

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