Coca-Cola has lost the man in charge of its 1.3bn worldwide media advertising to Ogilvy & Mather’s media arm, The Network.
Michael Quilty, Coca-Cola’s international media director, who only joined last September, is understood to have quit last month.
He will become The Network’s European chief executive and will head a board comprising the managing directors of individual Network companies from major European countries. Quilty reports to Mike Walsh, chief executive of O&M Europe.
The Network is still looking for a worldwide chief executive to run its media operations on a global basis. Last year, it approached Zenith chief executive Christine Walker to take on the position (MW October 20 1995).
Quilty’s role will be to ensure The Network runs efficiently across different markets with best practice followed in all companies and common systems used.
He will also work with The Network’s regional operations in other parts of the world, including the new Asia Pacific division announced last week.
O&M is expected to roll out The Network in South America next.
Before joining Coca-Cola, Quilty was media director of Young & Rubicam in Frankfurt and had worked for the agency on the media side in London and Scandinavia.
His appointment at Coke last year was expected to trigger a review of media buying, currently with Universal McCann across Europe. No formal pitch occurred but a review was considered.
“I am excited to have found someone who is a true internationalist with experience on the client side,” says Walsh. “There can be no greater training ground than Coca-Cola, where media is given such a high priority in its contribution to the brand.”