Matt Bonin Isn’t Leaving Ogilvy After All

By Patrick Coffee 


Earlier this week we received word that Matt Bonin, chief production officer at Ogilvy New York for the past three years, planned to leave the agency after receiving “an amazing offer” from an undisclosed business that may or may not have been a rival agency (we never found out).

An internal memo sent to all New York staff today by North American CCO Steve Simpson, however, revealed that Ogilvy has somehow convinced Bonin to stay.

Here’s the email, headlined “The Uses of Guilt”:

Five days ago, Matt Bonin wrote a heartfelt memo to all of us, announcing his departure.

In the few score hours that have passed since then, many of you have expressed your deep regret at his leaving and great gratitude for his accomplishments at Ogilvy & Mather.

We hope you were sincere in these sentiments (as it never pays to overdo things out of politeness). But you gave him a guilt trip, but good—because this got Matt to thinking.

I will let Matt speak to you himself about those thoughts. But the one thing I can vouch for is the result:

Matt Bonin is staying.

Well: How wonderful. How awkward. Why, it’s already in the press—doesn’t he have to leave? He can’t change his mind, can he? Isn’t there, like, a law?

Law or no law, Matt had the courage and proper disdain for convention to reverse himself. (“A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.”)

Matt also was troubled by the thought that the work he signed up for, while far advanced, is not yet finished.

Since he joined in 2012, Matt has led the bloodless integration of our production talent; he has helped shape our evolving approach to content; and he has balanced WPP efforts to make production more efficient with our own insistence upon the primacy of jumpy, nervous, obstinate, messy, contradictory creative humans.

The work will continue, and the pace will pick up. This is the work Matt came here to do, and the work he will continue to do for as long as we can keep throwing challenges his way.

Please join me in congratulating Matt, and welcoming him back to our side.

Steve Simpson

So the guilt trip strategy works.

No word on whether other factors may have played a role in this decision…