UK media agency pioneer Ray Morgan has died aged 82.
Morgan set up Ray Morgan & Partners (RMP) back in the 1980s, one of a stream of independent media buying shops. RMP was different, though, as Morgan had been media director of Benton & Bowles (then a big American-owned agency, the place where John Hegarty had started his career) and Morgan took nearly all its media business with him, thereby making it respectable for big clients to use such firms – outfits the agency establishment termed ‘cowboys.’
Morgan then sold RMP to Saatchi & Saatchi, then trying to buy the world, which, in turn, made it the foundation of Zenith Media, now Zenith Optimedia. At which point agency creative and media functions were separated, seemingly for ever, and creative agencies waved goodbye to their generous 15 per cent commission – and hence, in many cases, their profits.
Whether or not Morgan anticipated this only he would have known. He left B&B when it decided to merge with the D’Arcy MacManus agency. But he was one of the people who changed the agency business in a fundamental way.