So what happened today: GSK, Anna Wintour, George Osborne of course, and some news about TV

We thought about writing something about a ‘WPP team’ being appointed to handle a ‘global branding brief’ for pharma giant GSK (GlaxoSmith Klein as was) but then noticed that it was: Grey London with a bit of help from Brand Union with one John Rudaisky, fresh from his triumphs as head of WPP’s ‘Team Vodafone’ as CEO of new team GSK.

How can you be a CEO of a team, by the way? Is Team GSK a separate company? This is suits gone mad.

The job of a suit is to cart ads down the M4 or up the M1 (or to odd airports in the mid-West) and try to explain to the client why it was only done late last night. Sans thought.

Anyway, Grey has handled GSK from the year dot: the reason WPP bought it a decade or so ago was because of GSK and Procter & Gamble.

Why complicate things?


Rumours abound (and when they abound they’re usually true) that Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour (left) is going to be the next US ambassador to the UK. Anna used to be a Brit of course.

Her old dad was Charles Wintour, editor of the London Evening Standard in its pomp, when it employed people like venerable US hack and Hemingway drinking buddy Sam White to prop up the bar of the Hotel Crillon – on the off chance of a story.

In my youth I was ordered by Campaign to ring up Wintour senior with some tale. Charles wasn’t pleased, living up to his nickname of ‘nuclear Wintour.’

Anna seems to be cut from the same cloth.

Well she’ll probably be fine. Won’t need the shades all year round in Regent’s Park though.


Back here in the UK we’ve had chancellor George Osborne’s prognosis for our future in his Autumn Statement and it ain’t looking good. George has determined yet more ‘austerity’ even beyond 2015 (when, with a bit of luck, some other party will be in government). Where shall I emigrate to? Spain, Portugal – we’re all looking for bargains these days.


A new report by the UK’s agency trade body the IPA, based on analysis of its Effectiveness Awards, shows that if you spend lots of money on telly then all the digital and social media stuff works much better.

This survey is sponsored by Thinkbox, the research arm of the TV industry.

But actually it’s true, it works. If you’ve got the money of course.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.