Ross Roy Group Inc. will announce, perhaps as soon as this week, that BBDO North America president Peter Mills will join the agency i" data-categories = "" data-popup = "" data-ads = "Yes" data-company = "[]" data-outstream = "yes" >

Mills’ Ascension: BBDO President Joins Ross Roy By David Kiley with Alison Fahe

Ross Roy Group Inc. will announce, perhaps as soon as this week, that BBDO North America president Peter Mills will join the agency i

Neither Mills nor Fortinberry could be reached at press time.
The recruitment of Mills caps a tumultuous year for Ross Roy, during which it was enmeshed in prolonged but fruitless merger talks with BBDO. Also, Fortinberry’s health has been the subject of much talk around Detroit, though he has denied all rumors.
There has been much speculation about Fortinberry’s succession plan, though two high-ranking Ross Roy executives said it has been clear to them for several months he was not likely to promote from within.
‘Glen never came close to positioning someone from within as the person to lead the agency in the future,’ said one executive.
At BBDO, Mills was in line to succeed BBDO NA chairman Tom Clark. The Australian-born Mills was brought to the U.S. in June 1991 from his post as president of Comcore/BBDO in Canada, which handles some of Chrysler’s business north of the border.
But Mills, say Detroit ad executives, failed to become a player on the Chrysler business, largely because Clark never has backed away from being No. 1. BBDO sources said Clark’s continued dominance frustrated Mills, who wanted authority to be given to him at a faster rate. Mills’s only title is with BBDO NA, a paper entity – unincorporated – that was created by and for Clark, who also is vice chairman of BBDO Worldwide, as a measure to consolidate his authority.
At BBDO, Mills likely will not be replaced in the title he has held, said a BBDO source.
Mills’s appointment at Ross Roy raises questions about the status of merger discussions between BBDO and Ross Roy, which have been presumed dead. Executives at both agencies have said they suspect Clark and Fortinberry have continued to have private talks.
Copyright Adweek L.P. (1993)