Y&R’s Ferguson Restructures Creative Group

In his most sweeping change since taking the creative reins of Young & Rubicam’s flagship office in May, chief creative officer Jim Ferguson has reorganized his department, effective immediately.
The goal is to get “rid of administrative layers, so that we can be faster and more flexible,” according to an internal memo by Ferguson.
The previous setup, where each of four groups was run by an executive creative director, was designed to empower lieutenants in the absence of a New York creative director. Now, there will be six units, each housing fewer accounts and run by a “group creative director.”
“It gets me closer to the work and holds these guys more accountable,” said Ferguson. “I believe there should be only one ecd in the whole agency,” he added. “And that is the guy running the creative department.”
The heads of two groups remain the same: Janet Kraus (Citibank and Fisher-Price) and the team of Peter Murphy and Manny Perez (7 Up, United Airlines, KFC, U.S. Army and Kraft). Two others were promoted: James Caporimo (Campbell’s, Merck, U.S. Census) and the team of Barry Hoffman and Bob Wyatt (Xerox, Pella, Hoffman La Roche).
A fifth group is headed by Ross Sutherland, who joined Y&R this month from Ogilvy & Mather [Adweek, Oct. 18]. He is working
on Sony, AT&T and Ericcson. A sixth group head (for MetLife, Danone and Sears) will be named soon. The Colgate account will be overseen individually by Richard Butt, another newcomer, who came from Bates USA.
Ferguson announced the restructuring during a meeting with senior staffers last week.
In the staff memo, he wrote: “The goal of these changes is to cut down on red tape, get the people doing the work closer to the work, and–ultimately–produce the best possible advertising.”
Asked about the new setup, Sutherland said, “It feels simple.” K