There’s Something About Mary

Mary Baglivo’s departure as chief executive of Euro RSCG Tatham and her decision to return East brings a consummate packaged-goods account specialist back to Madison Avenue.
Baglivo, who is leaving Tatham at the end of June and moving back to her native New Jersey, plans to take the summer off and then return to the agency business in New York this fall.
“The agency’s been a number of different agencies in the time I’ve been there, but I’m most proud of the last two-and-a-half or three years,” Baglivo said. “We’ve given the agency a new energy, a greater level of creativity, a better position for the future.”
Baglivo guided Procter & Gamble-Tatham’s largest account-for most of her 18-year career at the agency, gaining a reputation as a “smart and creative” brand steward and “a great competitor,” according to agency executives. Others have described her as hardworking, direct and personable.
P&G, however, pulled its $75 million account from Tatham in January as part of a global consolidation that favored its larger roster shops.
The fast-rising Baglivo, 41, downplayed the loss of P&G as a factor in her decision to leave, although it clearly opened the door for her exit and long-stated desire to return to the East Coast.
“I love Tatham. It’s as talented and as driven as it has ever been,” Baglivo said last week. “[But] you’ve got to do what you think is right for your family.”
Baglivo’s mentor early in her career at Tatham was Charlotte Beers, who ran Tatham before leaving for New York and Ogilvy & Mather. Beers was recently named chairman of J. Walter Thompson, fueling speculation Baglivo may eventually land there. Sources said Baglivo had been on the short list for the president’s post at JWT, which went to Bob Jeffrey.
Baglivo did not rule out a move to JWT, but suggested it was only one of several possibilities.
“Everybody needs somebody like her,” said one executive.
Tatham president Gary Epstein is taking on responsibilities formerly held by Baglivo.