FCB London chief executive Nigel Jones has emerged as the frontrunner in the race to head the London office of newly merged FCB and Draft networks, with Draft’s John Minnec said to be in line for a group role based in the US.
Interpublic Group formally announced a merger of the two networks, to be known as Draft FCB Group, earlier this month and kick-started a formal 90-day consultation period.
Minnec, an American with close ties to Howard Draft, is thought to favour a return to the US. He moved to London from the Chicago office in April 2005. Jones was recruited from direct agency Claydon Heeley Jones Mason – now Claydon Heeley – last July.
Draft, named chief executive and chairman of the new entity, has been in London this week talking to executives and staff at both agencies. However, speaking to Marketing Week, Draft insists no decisions on future UK leadership have as yet been made.
He says: “We are exploring a bunch of options but no decisions have been made on anything and there is a 90-day period of discussion between the companies.”
Of Minnec, he adds: “John and I have worked together for ten years and I can tell you that he will still be in London next year.”
The deal to merge the two networks was brokered by Draft and Steve Blamer, who joined IPG as FCB Worldwide chief executive last year. He will leave the company following the completion of the merger, with a rumoured severence package of $7m (&£3.7m).