Two of the three founding members of David confirmed today that they will be leaving in early 2018. The WPP-owned shop, described as an “independent, creatively led agency of The Ogilvy Group,” is best known for its recent award-winning work as Burger King’s global creative agency of record.
Co-founders Anselmo Ramos and Gaston Bigio, who served as CCOs of David Miami and Buenos Aires, respectively, plan to launch their own, as-yet-unnamed venture. Fellow founder Fernando Musa takes over immediately as chairman of the David organization. Ogilvy CEO and worldwide chairman John Seifert broke the news to all employees this morning.
“I am thrilled to take on a larger leadership role for a brand that I love and helped to create several years back,” said Musa in a statement. “We have an amazing leadership team that are committed to take David into the future and to producing game-changing work on behalf of our clients.”
Moving forward, Musa will also be responsible for assembling David’s new leadership team.
“Gaston and I are leaving to start an independent agency,” Ramos said, noting that their new company will officially launch in March with offices in Miami, Buenos Aires and, later, São Paulo. “I think what we accomplished at David is beyond our wildest dreams,” he added. “To have an agency with 105 employees in three countries working for clients like Burger King, Heinz, Budweiser and Coca-Cola is incredible. We won 5 Grand Prix in Cannes … no one ever imagined we would be that successful.”
Regarding the David team, he said, “I think it’s a strong brand that we built and it has a strong reputation. I wish them the best of luck and hope they keep up the good work.”
Seifert told Adweek that, while he was “disappointed” by the departures, Ogilvy remains committed to supporting David as an independent business within its larger global network. “We wish [Ramos and Bigio] our very best, give them our deepest thanks, and have absolute confidence in Fernando,” he said.
David formed in 2011 as an outgrowth of Ogilvy Latina, the agency’s Latin American network. All three executives are veterans of that organization: Musa continues to serve as CEO of Ogilvy Brazil while Ramos held the CCO role in São Paulo and Bigio led the Argentinean team. They reportedly developed the idea for David while attending the 2011 Cannes Lions Festival and named it after their parent company’s founder and namesake, David Ogilvy.
David currently has offices in Miami, São Paulo and Buenos Aires. According to Ogilvy leadership, operations will continue as usual in each location following the leadership change.
Burger King has worked with Ogilvy on Latin American projects since well before David’s inception. It later awarded global AOR status to the agency in 2014 after promoting former Burger King Switzerland vp of marketing Axel Schwan to global CMO and naming Unilever veteran Fernando Machado to the newly-created head of brand marketing role.
Since then, David’s work for the fast food chain has won a slew of awards at each successive Cannes Festival. Burger King also won Marketer of the Year honors for 2017.