Simons to go shopping for O&M

Paul Simons will look to acquire advertising agencies and other communications companies when he takes the helm at Ogilvy & Mather at the beginning of May.

Simons has already confirmed that the company’s new media arm Ogilvy Interactive, which employs 300 staff at its New York office, is to establish offices in the UK.

Mike Walsh, O&M’s European chief executive, says Simons has been briefed to look at buying more companies to fit in with the agency’s integrated positioning. Walsh says: “He has an entrepreneurial spirit, I want Paul to be aggressive on acquisitions.”

Simons says he will shake up senior management at O&M as he tries to get the agency “back on track”. He says: “I hope to make additions to the line-up over the next five months or so. People arriving will have an effect. It will be helpful to add greater backbone. This can be achieved by adding fearless people.”

Simons has made overtures to WCRS marketing director Amy Smith to fill a new business role. She says she has rebuffed the offer and has no intention of joining O&M.

In a separate move, O&M’s present head of new business David Muir, is tipped to move to another position within the agency at the end of this year. Senior creative staff are being sought to work with executive creative director Patrick Collister.

Cover Story, page 24

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