Ogilvy & Mather North America Office in Atlanta Closes

ATLANTA — WPP Group has shut down its Ogilvy & Mather North America office here. The shop, established by executive creative director Ian Latham and general manager Neill Cameron, will be merged into crosstown WPP sibling, J. Walter Thompson.

“The decision was made so we could provide our clients with continuity, commitment and the resources they’ve come to expect,” said Latham, who last served as managing director.

Established in 1980 essentially to service C&S Bank, Ogilvy grew into a regional powerhouse over the next 15 years, handling the Centers for Disease Control, Shoney’s and the Food Lion supermarket accounts.

The shop was named Adweek’s Southeast Agency of the Year, largely on the strength of its broadcast creative, in 1995.

Ogilvy began a downward spiral after the defection of director of client services John Ames and media director Tony O’Haire, who left to form Ames Scullin O’Haire in 1996. Cameron retired in 1999. In 2000, ASO walked off with Ogilvy’s signature Food Lion account.

JWT’s general manager in Atlanta, Jeff White, said the move will “preserve jobs.”

The majority of Ogilvy’s 26 staffers, both Latham and White said, will be incorporated into JWT, while continuing to work out of Ogilvy’s midtown office.
Latham said he would be “pursuing opportunities within the WPP community.”