Ogilvy’s ‘Lightning Rod’




Planning Move Partly Spurred by Consultants
NEW YORK–In an effort to reinvent its strategic planning function, Ogilvy & Mather has named Tony Wright, a top global account manager, to the new post of chief strategy and planning officer of its New York office.
Wright, a senior partner who will report to Ogilvy New York co-presidents Rick Boyko and Bill Gray, hopes the department overhaul will make the agency more of a strategic partner to clients such as IBM, American Express and Kodak.
“Clients increasingly tell me they don’t get actionable, tangible advice from management consultants on brands, just on factory closings,” said Wright.
“I want to create a grown-up planning function,” he continued. “Much planning today is tweaking [ads] and nibbling away at the edges.”
Wright’s first priority will be recruitment. “I want Tony to be a lightning rod for the department and bring attention to the agency,” said Boyko. Wright’s client duties on KFC, Kodak and Unilever are being absorbed within the global network.
Rosalinde Rago, the shop’s current planning director, is now responsible for implementing a consumer research effort–WPP Group’s Brandz Study–among Ogilvy’s North American clients.
Wright joined Ogilvy in 1996 after a number of agency stints, including one at his own shop, the former Berlin Cameron Wright. Before that, he played a key role on the Energizer bunny campaign at the former Chiat/Day in Los Angeles. He began his career as an account planner at British shop Hedger, Mitchell, Stark.