It’s been an odd sort of week. No-one senior from Ogilvy UK has quit (well, at the time of writing). In terms of PR value, that’s surely a bonus for its chief executive, Michael Frohlich, who has had to endure week after week of bad news as the management team he assembled just four months ago to run the newly de-siloed agency has fallen apart.
Just one month ago, I wrote – with remarkable prescience – that Ogilvy would survive the departure of chief client officer Charlie Rudd and chief production officer Clare Donald. Well, hands up, it looks like my innate and sunny optimism may have got the better of me. With two of its three chief creative officers – Emma de la Fosse and Mick Mahoney – subsequently following them out the door, things are maybe not looking as rosy as this Pollyanna would have you believe. Only chief strategy officer Kevin Chesters remains from the old Ogilvy "gang".
Given his background in high-level PR, Frohlich doesn’t need me or anyone else to tell him that the replacements need announcing soon, along with reassurance that he has a plan (Ogilvy assures us that this news is imminent, so watch this space).
Despite trouble at the top – and, in fairness to Frohlich, he never said that creating one agency structure would be easy – it is gratifying to see the agency make the shortlist for the Campaign Big Awards for both British Airways "It’s coming home" (which has got to be one of the best tactical campaigns of the year) and "Positivity radio" for Dove. This came on the back of some equally great work for Boots. So while Ogilvy may look like turmoil on the executive floor, at least the creative product hasn’t yet suffered. In fact, as the fifth most nominated agency, if anything it has improved.
With Donald finding a new job in the US and de la Fosse moving to Digitas, all eyes will be on where the immensely capable Rudd and Mahoney will now rock up. The pair has a long history of working successfully together back from their days at Bartle Bogle Hegarty, so what a lovely thought that they might be reunited somewhere.
In other news, Mother has unveiled its final spot in its long-running Moneysupermarket.com campaign. It ends on a high in an homage to Thelma & Louise as the "Epic" campaign goes off a cliff. It’s a great end for an agency that deserved better – and perhaps a subliminal message from Mother to the client?
Jeremy Lee is contributing editor at Campaign