Mindshare shuffles leadership, reveals “good growth” positioning

WPP media firm’s new stance comes as clients and employees seek more sustainable growth.

Mindshare on Tuesday revealed its new brand positioning, “good growth,” which promotes diversified, sustainable investments that are good for business and for the world.

With this new positioning, Mindshare hopes to direct client investments not just toward media that will yield the most reach for the lowest CPMs, but also that supports quality journalism, has data ethics at its core and highlights underrepresented voices in the media ecosystem.

“Consumers are demanding more and expectations are changing,” said Mindshare global CEO Adam Gerhart. “Brands, quite honestly, have to think differently, and businesses need to behave differently.”

The new value proposition will be supported by a series of leadership changes at Mindshare.

Nilufar Fowler, global chief growth officer, will take on the new role of global chief client officer, supporting client needs by tapping into Mindshare, GroupM and WPP capabilities. Mindshare is leveraging more tools and talent across the holding company, such as WPP’s new data unit Choreograph, to support bespoke client needs.

“In the future, client needs will be as diverse as the constituents they serve, which means we need to tap into skill sets that sit beyond the confines of any one agency,” he said. “It's becoming more the norm and an imperative.”

In that vein, Tom Johnson, chief digital officer of Mindshare Worldwide, will step into the new role of global chief solutions officer, where he will also develop cross-agency strategies as well as lead Mindshare’s business transformation consulting unit, Change. Mindshare will help clients to define what good growth looks like for them and create a roadmap to make it happen.

“Doubling down on consulting allows us to talk to clients about a more upstream transformation agenda, organizational design, go-to-market approach and strategy,” Gerhart said.

A handful of promotions will move Mindshare USA leadership into global roles, a sign that Gerhart, who was promoted to global CEO of Mindshare in December from U.S. CEO, is putting his stamp on the global leadership team.

Mindshare USA chief data strategy officer Shane McAndrew will become global chief data strategy and analytics officer. Chief development officer Dan Reaume will take on the role of global chief growth officer. Chief instigation officer Joe Maceda becomes global chief innovation officer.

Oliver Joyce, head of Mindshare Worldwide, US, becomes global chief transformation officer, working closely with clients tapping into the Change unit.

There are also changes afoot internationally. EMEA CEO Helen McRae becomes Mindshare’s APAC CEO, and the agency is searching for a replacement in the region.

Finally, Kristina Palmer Shedd joined Mindshare from Publicis Sapient as global chief people officer, a critical position as agencies face a talent crunch and scramble to attract and retain staffers. At Mindshare, that will include embracing more diversified hiring and recruiting practices, such as using AI to anonymize names on résumés to remove implicit biases.

“Employees want to work in a place that supports their career, but also stands for something more,” Gerhart said. “We're seeing defections from large organizations where the corporate purpose is just about making money. Good growth is an employee-facing proposition as well.”

As Mindshare embodies its new value prop, it will start having “far more strategic” conversations with clients that focus “less on the mere transactional side of media and much more on the intent behind media,” Gerhart added.

Clients, which often treat media agencies as executional vendors and task them with scoring the cheapest CPMs at the greatest volumes, are starting to embrace a different mindset that supports Mindshare’s good growth proposition, Gerhart said. The WPP firm has already built tools to support good growth, such as its inclusion private marketplace and its data ethics compass, which will be baked into the agency’s planning processes.

“[In] a choice between cheap impressions that are about tonnage, or a plan that aligns to your agenda, supports your ambitions and delivers better, more sustainable growth, every time, the client says ‘Give me the second media plan,’” Gerhart said.

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