Adweek’s Agency Spy has a regular called Revolving Doors, chronicling the ins and outs of agency land, mostly in the US.
We might have to start one here judging by the increasing number of comings and goings, especially among media agencies.
Yesterday we had Nikki Mendonca abandoning Omnicom’s OMD for Accenture and now Campaign thinks Dentsu Aegis UK and Ireland boss Tracy De Groose (left) has packed her satchel although there’s no confirmation from Carat yet. We’ve already had some comings and far more goings as WPP’s Maxus has been merged into MEC to form Wavemaker. Starcom CEO Pippa Glucklich also announced she was leaving the other week.
Carat’s De Groose has made more waves recently in her advocacy of LGBT causes, trans-gender in particular, than business triumphs at Carat; factors which may have played a role in her departure if indeed she’s going. Taking a high profile on such matters is all fine and good but there’ll be someone, somewhere wondering what’s happening in the day job.
So we wonder who’s next. There’s no doubt that media agencies are undergoing radical surgery at the hands of their holding company owners as their margins and growth disappear in an increasingly automated and suspicious client world.
Mark Ritson in Marketing Week had an interesting take on this recently, commenting on the appearance of ex-Carat US boss Mark Cass at Advertising Week in New York. Cass is now boss of MDC Partners’ media operation. Essentially Ritson was saying that the game’s up for media agencies; in part because they’ve been happy to take on business at uneconomic rates because they made up their money by flogging off surplus inventory – bought with one client’s money – to other clients.
One suspects that media agencies – “resilient pests” to some as their holding company owners have been described – will manage to worm their way back into (some) clients’ affections but there’s no doubt big changes are on the way and senior managers will cop much of the flak.
Who’ll be next through that revolving door?
It might be Tracy was failing to follow up on innovative new revenue streams in areas other networks were present in.
Nevertheless her advocacy of good causes shouldn’t be implicitly criticised or used in the same context as her professional role.