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Martin Boase

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Martin Boase

Martin Boase has always been known as much for his personal elegance and manners as for his taste in ad agencies. At its peak in the late '80s, Boase Massimi Pollitt set the creative standard in London. Boase aimed to do that in the U.S. as well, stringing together some of the industry's most distinctive little gems: Ammirati & Puris, Goodby, Berlin & Silverstein and Angotti, Thomas, Hedge. A hostile bid by Paris' BDDP put an end to Boase's ambitions, after he sold to white knight Omnicom and became chairman of Omnicom U.K. Since leaving the ad world in 1993, Boase has served as chairman at companies ranging from media concern E-Map and Heal's—a chain of furniture stores—to rock station Kiss FM. No longer in boardrooms, Boase, 68, indulges in racing, horses and buying paintings and furniture at auction. His posh Chelsea neighborhood in London has become a kind of retirement community for ad tycoons, including next door neighbor Charles Saatchi. Unlike Saatchi, who viewed the U.S. in terms of size, Boase wanted to assemble a group of American companies with a creative cachet. In the end, both lost their empires. "I have no regrets my U.S. ambitions didn't work out," Boase reflects.MagnumMatrixMagnumMagnumMatrix