Philip Greenfield, global CEO of RMG Connect and Mark Miller, President of RMG Connect North America, were both fired from JWT today. David Eastman, JWT’s newly minted worldwide digital director, confirmed this news.
RMG Connect is the digital/DM/CRM arm of JWT, and over the last year the agency has been embattled by lack of organization (read: mass leadership defections). We’re told that Bob Jeffrey wants to unify the efforts of JWT and RMG without rolling the agencies into one unit, as a way to increase their global offerings. Right now RMG’s ROI-centric structure is a distant second fiddle to JWT’s creative — and according to the source, Greenfield and Miller didn’t share that philosophy.
Didn’t agree or weren’t needed to implement it?
Late last year Eastman was brought on to help direct the agency toward the digital light. He told AgencySpy during a phone call that although he won’t be named CEO of RMG, his role will be to unify JWT’s creative with RMG’s dm, crm etc.
But is it too little, too late for the RMG, which despite being named #7 on Adweek’s top interactive agencies list in 2006 (tongue, cheek) has yet to set itself apart globally. “We have to find a shared meaning within one model,” said Eastman, “I’m not sure that’s ever been done successfully elsewhere. There are financial and organizational impediments.”
When he joined the agency, the press were told Eastman would be “responsible for the strategic oversight and management of the digital discipline within JWT, RMG and all subsidiary companies, with the remit of integrating the digital assets and overseeing all activation and through-the-line marketing throughout the network.” A crystal ball, a bottle of whiskey and an hour with Mr. Jeffries might have told us this was coming.
Eastman noted that while creative agencies are recognized through awards, ROI/DM/CRM agencies don’t have a parallel measuring stick. With a “shared vision,” he went on, it becomes easier to unify the two agencies.
These aren’t the first high-level change-ups for RMG, not by a long shot. Last year the London wing lost Linda Jackson and before her, Nelly Anderson.
And let’s not forget Connect CCO Martin McDonald who left for Fox Murphy last year. McDonald is not a fan of AgencySpy, and called his move a perfectly normal one. Well, sure, but at the rate RMG Connect loses top level “talent” we’re naturally skeptical.