Publicis chief exec heads for exit door

Publicis chief executive Grant Duncan has resigned from the agency after eight years without a job to go to. It is not clear if Duncan, who leaves the agency at the end of April, will be replaced.

Duncan’s departure comes at a difficult time for the agency, which has lost £90m worth of business and is undergoing a major restructure that is expected to lead to up to 50 redundancies.

The agency lost the £28m MFI account to M&C Saatchi in November and Asda moved its £45m business into Publicis’ sister agency Fallon London at the start of January, as exclusively revealed on marketingweek.co.uk.

Asda moved out of the agency after its worldwide chief operating officer Rick Bendel took up the role of marketing director at the retailer, late last year.

The Post Office then called a review of its £20m advertising business just a year after appointing Publicis, which has declined to repitch.

“After spending 25 years in the advertising business and eight years at Publicis, I want to do something else in my life. The timing is right for me,” says Grant.

Observers say that his move has been precipitated by the agency’s new structure due to be announced shortly by group chairman Tim Lindsay, following the recent spate of account losses.

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