FCB Global CEO Says the Age of the ‘Ivory Tower’ Agency Executives Is Over

Carter Murray predicts more tech partnerships to come

CANNES, France—According to FCB global CEO Carter Murray, the ad industry may well be nearing the end of an era dominated by outsized personalities with titles and pay packages to match.

"You've got to have people in charge who actually care about the people, who don't just talk it but work on it," he said. "C-suite people sitting in an ivory tower just trying to make big bonuses and not do much work … it's pretty hard to survive in this industry being like that in this day in age."

Murray also dismissed those who say the agency business model is dead, telling Adweek that he's been hearing the same argument for almost 20 years.

That said, the model is changing at the speed of a swipe. As Snapchat and other platforms become ever-larger players in the paid media equation, Murray predicts more deals between agencies, clients and tech companies—many of them presumably made inside gated "secret compounds" like the one Evan Spiegel's company set up right next to the action at the Palais in Cannes. "You have to partner every year with an exponentially larger number of people," Murray said.

The festival itself clearly isn't going anywhere, despite some grumbling about the event serving as more of a cash cow and a corporate showcase than a celebration of creative endeavors. "It's more intense than it's ever been," Murray said, and Cannes will continue to serve as a focal point for global dealmakers, promoters and celebrity exhibitionists in the years to come.