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OMD’s Mendonca joins media brain drain away from agencies

One door closes, another opens – maybe. Media agencies are under pressure to maintain their growth and margins in a newly suspicious world and there’s a new trend of senior managers upping sticks for other employers.

WPP GroupM’s North American CEO Brian Lesser is off to AT&T to run its massive media budget and build a programmatic capability and now Omnicom OMD EMEA president Nikki Mendonca (left) is off to Accenture with the global role of, wait for it, president of intelligent marketing operations. Mendonca currently oversees about 6,000 people at OMD.

Accenture Operations group CEO Debbie Polishook says: “Her arrival comes at a strategically important time in building this capability as we continue to develop innovative solutions that combine platform, analytics, artificial intelligence, machine learning and other core technologies to help clients enhance their marketing impact.”

All the big consultancies are busy raiding adland for agencies and talent, with Accenture in the lead. So far the one area they’ve been cautious about is media and most pundits think they don’t want to become involved in supposedly low-margin, old-style media planning and buying. But with most media now being traded programmatically they don’t need to.

They can leave it to the computers to do that and rely on the likes of Mendonca to hold the client’s hand, for a fee 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.

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