Coke’s Wendy Clark takes top US job at DDB

Back in the day people used to flit from client to agency and back again, to the benefit of both parties. The former agency people going to clients knew where the bodies were buried and the clients going to agencies might have learned that this creative lark ain’t as easy as it looks.

Now, in the most interesting such move for ages, one of Coca-Cola’s top marketers Wendy Clark (below) is shipping out to DDB as the new CEO of DDB Worldwide North America.

Clark took a sabbatical recently – to work with Hillary Clinton on her presidential campaign it seems – and while away found that her ‘Open Happiness’ global campaign was not as popular at Coke as once, presumably, it was. Well, never take a sabbatical is quite a good maxim in these businesses; sabbaticals are for wimps.

One of her allies, one assumes, Jonathan Mildenhall, formerly of Mother in the Royal Borough of Hackney, also departed a couple of years ago to be CMO of Airbnb.

Anyway, can Clark, who has worked at agencies in the past (most notably GDSM), make a difference at DDB? Omnicom-owned DDB is much bigger than, I suspect, the late Bill Bernbach ever thought it would be. But recently, under CEO Chuck Brymer, it seems to have lost its way a bit, despite the phenomenal success of adam&eveDDB in the UK.

It will be interesting to see what Clark produces. DDB will, presumably, be in the driving seat if Hillary Clinton wins the Deomocratic Party nomination in next year’s US presidential election.

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