In Don Easdon's case--by "mutual agreement"--he and the agency are parting ways, the agency said last week. Sources said that Rogers' role will also change and that he soon will take on responsibilities for multinational clients reporting to BSB Worldwide president and coo Michael Bungey. Sources speculated the changes are being made because the agency has yet to get its new business machine working and billings continue to erode. An agency spokesperson insisted that Rogers is secure and that he is a "critical part of the future of this company."
Easdon is leaving to reunite with Boston creative Bill Heater to launch their Heater Easdon Advertising, initially out of Heater's home in Milton, Mass. In the '80s, the duo did internationally lauded campaigns under the Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopolous banner for clients like Wang Laboratories, John Hancock Financial Services and Infiniti.
The move comes with one year left on Easdon's contract, sources said. It is the first departure involving high-level executives in the agency since Bungey assumed the title of president and coo of BSB Worldwide and began focusing on the U.S. in January. He had been chairman and ceo of BSB Dorland in the UK. An agency spokesperson said that the decision to leave was Easdon's and was "unrelated" to Bungey.
Under Easdon and Rogers, BSB stopped losing big accounts and pulled some major ones, such as Avis, out of the fire. But the advertising agency hasn't rebounded from the $230 million in account losses that preceded the appointments in 1991. Though BSB did pull in the Trans World Airlines account late last year and won Primerica and other smaller pieces of business, it has an anemic new business record. Last year its overall billings dropped 10% to $976 million.
The agency said that Easdon's duties will be divided among the shop's four creative directors. Rumors had been circulating for weeks that Easdon would soon be leaving the post. Sources said that he and Rogers never quite molded into a cohesive working relationship at the agency. In fact, since Easdon's appointment preceded that of Rogers, the agency head did not hire Easdon, they said. "He never had a relationship with Ken," said one source.
Copyright Adweek L.P. (1993)