Her 'Job Done,' Walsh to Leave Presidency of United Network
NEW YORK Amanda Walsh (below), president of WPP's United agency network (formerly Red Cell), has confirmed that she is stepping down from the position, effective Wednesday. "I'm proud of what we've done in terms of the quality of the agencies in United," Walsh said. "It's a viable, strong network for WPP. Job done." She was referring to last year's transformation of Red Cell from a 55-office group to a nine-agency network run by worldwide CEO Andy Berlin. Sources said that her position became redundant in the wake of the reorganization, because as one executive put it, "You don't need two CEOs running nine offices." Reached in London, Berlin said, "Amanda was a very good partner … I don't know she thought that would be happening when she signed up, but that's what happened. There are fewer fires to put out. As for Amanda, job done and job well done." Walsh, 47, joined Red Cell in May 2004 as chief executive of its European operations. She had been CEO of Walsh Trott Chick Smith, a London shop she co-founded in 1995. Agencies in the United network are Berlin Cameron United, New York; Cole & Weber, Seattle; WM, Buenos Aires, Argentina; Sra. Rushmore, Madrid, Spain; 1861, Milan, Italy; United, London; BTS, Oslo, Norway; LDV, Antwerp, Belgium; and LODP, Paris.
Shareholders Second IPG Brass In Voting Down Proposals
NEW YORK IPG shareholders last week rejected two activist proposals that the holding company had opposed—one to separate the roles of CEO and chairman and another to recoup bonuses paid to top executives in the event of a restatement. The votes came during IPG's annual stockholder meeting in New York, during which shareholders also re-elected eight directors, reappointed PricewaterhouseCoopers as outside auditor and adopted a performance incentive plan for 2006. About 88 percent of those eligible to vote cast ballots, IPG CEO Michael Roth said. IPG had argued that its presiding director was independent, so it did not need an independent chairman—the primary rationale for the first measure. Also, IPG earlier this year instituted a policy to recoup bonuses if a restatement stems from wrongdoing. Roth also reflected on 2005 results and goals for 2006, and touched upon the possibility of combining Foote Cone & Belding and Draft. He stressed that IPG continues to consider different options, but he discussed creating a "modern agency model" that would have one P&L and a single management team—indicating a merger not an alliance. He did not provide a timetable for a decision, but sources have said that IPG is shooting for early June. Roth, Frank Borelli, Reginald Brack, Jill Considine, John Greeniaus, Phillip Samper, David Thomas and Richard Goldstein, who succeeded Borelli as presiding director, were re-elected to one-year terms at Thursday's meeting.
Donnelley Invites K.C., N.Y. Incumbents to Defend Tele Biz
ATLANTA R.H. Donnelley has confirmed issuing proposal requests to agencies as it considers consolidating its ad account at one shop following its $4.2 billion acquisition of Dex Media earlier this year. Work is divided between independent Valentine Radford, Kansas City, Mo., and IPG's Foote Cone & Belding, New York. Combined Donnelley-Dex ad spending last year was $20 million, per TNS Media Intelligence. Donnelley said it has sent RFPs to the incumbents and undisclosed shops, and hired ABA Consulting in Raleigh, N.C., to assist in the review. Valentine Radford provides advertising for Donnelley's AT&T and Sprint directories. FCB advertises Qwest listings, which were produced by Dex. After acquiring Denver-based Dex, Donnelley of Cary, N.C., became the third-largest tele-listing publisher in the U.S. with more than 600 publications in 28 states and a combined circulation of 73 million.
EasyJet Awards European Creative to Ogilvy London
NEW YORK Ogilvy & Mather has landed EasyJet's pan-European creative duties after a review, the WPP shop confirmed. Billings were not disclosed, but sources estimated ad spending in excess of $60 million. The assignment for Ogilvy's London office represents a bundling of duties previously handled in-house and by multiple agencies on a project basis. Media duties are expected to remain at Omnicom's OMD in London. Founded in 1995, the U.K.-based EasyJet bills itself as a no-frills, low-cost alternative to traditional European carriers.
Veteran of Fast-Food Wars Joins Cosi as Marketing Chief
CHICAGO Quick-service restaurant chain Cosi has confirmed hiring former Subway executive Chris Carroll as CMO, a new post. Carroll, 49, is tasked with helping Cosi grow from 100 restaurants to 800 in the next four years. In addition to six years as worldwide marketing director at Subway, Carroll was vp of advertising, sales and promotion at Burger King. He also has worked at agencies on Pizza Hut and McDonald's. While Subway experienced considerable growth during his tenure, his final two years saw short-lived relationships with creative agencies. First, he worked with Publicis' Fallon in Minneapolis in 2004 on the derided "It's OK, I had Subway" campaign. When Fallon and Subway parted after less than a year, Carroll enlisted Omnicom's Goodby, Silverstein & Partners in San Francisco. That relationship also quickly fizzled, and the $400 million-plus business in July 2005 was consolidated at independent roster shop MMB in Boston. Carroll left Subway last September. Deerfield, Ill.-based Cosi, which operates in 16 states, had no measurable media spending last year, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus.
Former Mercedes Executive Fills New CMO Post at Audi
DETROIT Scott Keogh has been appointed chief marketing officer at Audi of America, the company said. It is a new post at the Auburn Hills, Mich., company and comes less than a year after Keogh was general manager of marketing communications at Mercedes-Benz USA in Montvale, N.J. Keogh, 37, will oversee all marketing strategy and department responsibilities. He will report to evp Johan de Nysschen. Audi's lead agency is Havas-owned McKinney in Durham, N.C. The nameplate spent more than $100 million last year in domestic measured media, a 65 percent increase over 2004, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus. Keogh worked at Mercedes in various marketing roles since 1994. Audi sales in the U.S. through April were up 5.2 percent, according to the company.
TBWA\C\D's Creative Vision Clinches Ray-Ban Assignment
NEW YORK Luxottica's Ray-Ban has awarded its global creative account to TBWA\Chiat\Day following a review, the client said. Estimated billings are $30 million. The Omnicom shop in San Francisco topped at least five other agencies; final pitches were held two weeks ago at Ray-Ban's headquarters in Milan, Italy. Fabio D'Angelantonio, marketing director of Luxottica, in a statement said the agency "best responded to the brand's desire to continue to be a global icon." Other contenders included IPG's McCann Erickson, Publicis' Leo Burnett and The Kaplan Thaler Group and independent StrawberryFrog, sources said. McCann has worked on the account via its Italian operations but was not considered the incumbent on the global business. Introduced in 1937, the brand gained iconic status in the 1950s and '60s via appearances in fashion spreads and films.