BBH director OKeeffe set to take on WPP Group role

UPDATE: Bartle Bogle Hegarty executive creative director John OKeeffe is leaving the agency after 18 years to join WPP Group as worldwide creative director. BBH creative director Nick Gill will take over his role.

UPDATE: Bartle Bogle Hegarty executive creative director John O’Keeffe is leaving the agency after 18 years to join WPP Group as worldwide creative director. BBH creative director Nick Gill will take over his role.

Sources suggest that O’Keeffe had become “increasingly frustrated” that the role of the worldwide creative director remained “out of bounds”, and that founder Sir John Hegarty was not ready to retire yet.

O’Keeffe will take over the position left vacant by WPP worldwide creative director Neil French, who resigned three years ago amid an uproar over remarks he made at an industry event about female creative executives.

O’Keeffe joined BBH in 1990 and was made executive creative director in 2000, after winning several awards for work on Audi, Levi’s and K Shoes. He started his advertising career at Saatchi & Saatchi in 1984 and made his name on work for clients such as NSPCC and Swan lager.

BBH reshuffled its management team early this year (MW October 25, 2007) when it appointed Gwyn Jones, the former chief executive of its New York office as chief operating officer. Jones replaced Simon Sherwood, who was promoted as group chief executive, taking over from Nigel Bogle.

Bogle has since assumed the role of group chairman, while Hegarty’s position as worldwide creative director has remained unchanged.

Last year WPP-owned JWT poached BBH deputy executive creative director Russell Ramsey as executive creative director of the London agency.

Latest from Marketing Week

Tesco, M&S, Just Eat: 5 things that mattered this week and why


M&S chief outlines digital-first strategy after profits plummet Marks & Spencer (M&S) is gearing up for a digital-first future, after its revealed on Wednesday (23 May) that profits had dropped a massive 62.1% to £66.8m compared to the previous year. A day earlier, the struggling retailer confirmed it will close more than 100 stores over […]


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here