Kelly O’Dea, president of worldwide client services at Ogilvy & Mather, is understood to be moving to New York following the agency’s loss of lead status on the Ford of Europe account.
Sources say O’Dea will take on a consultancy role to O&M worldwide chairman and chief executive Shelley Lazarus. O&M handles a large amount of work for Ford in the US through its ownership of Jaguar.
O’Dea was travelling between Detroit and New York as Marketing Week went to press and unavailable for comment. There has been speculation that his role as worldwide client services director will disappear.
Some observers believe he will be made the management scapegoat for the loss of the 65m Ford business and O&M’s failure to win the launch of the Focus.
Young & Rubicam, also a Ford European roster agency, stunned the advertising industry by winning the Fiesta and Ka accounts, having already snatched the Ford Focus (MW July 16 1998).
O&M may have to make some UK redundancies over time, but aims to minimise this by winning new business before the Ford account changes take effect from January 1 1999.