Ogilvy & Mather has hired veteran ad man Paul Simons to revamp the image of the London agency, and put behind it a year of key account losses.
Simons, who has been working on the fringes of the advertising industry as TBWA UK chairman for the past year, takes up the role of chairman and chief executive of Ogilvy & Mather Advertising and chairman of the Ogilvy Group UK. The move was first predicted in Marketing Week (MW January 21)
Simons will take over many of the responsibilities of his close friend Mike Walsh, O&M’s European chief executive, whose role is effectively split. He will work with managing director Richard Pinder, though O&M says Simons is not a replacement for Tom Bury, who left the chief executive post of O&M Advertising in January.
O&M believes it has turned the corner after last year’s poor performance, when it lost 60m of Ford business and the 12m Guinness account, which has been offset by 50m of new business. This year, it has lost the 10m Woolwich account, and 6m Bupa. Simons has been hired partly for his skills in image-building.
Simons was a founding partner of Simons Palmer Clemmow Johnson, sold to Omnicom in 1997. Since the merger of TBWA Simons Palmer and GGT/BDDP in May 1998, Simons has been chairman of TBWA UK, overseeing various businesses, but was keen to return to a central position at a leading ad agency.
Part of Simons’ role will be to ensure O&M Advertising, Ogilvy One direct marketing, Primary Contact and Ogilvy Public Relations to provide an integrated service for clients. He will also pursue new business.
Woolwich loss, page 12