Ex Coca-Cola client Wendy Clark takes global reins at DDB

Wendy Clark has replaced Chuck Brymer as president and CEO of Omnicom’s DDB – Brymer becomes chairman.

Which won’t surprise anyone as Clark (below), who joined DDB as North America boss from a top marketing position at Coca-Cola in 2016, has been the driving force behind a renascence of DDB in its home market and was the obvious choice to lead the network globally.

Her biggest win to date has been McDonald’s US creative business – housed in new agency We Are Unlimited – although its first offerings have been uninspiring.

Clark says: “I’ve loved every minute of the last two years with our DDB North America team and clients creating the resurgence of this majestic, important agency. To now have the opportunity to follow Chuck’s legacy of leadership and work with our global teams and clients is both humbling and exciting.”

Omnicom boss John Wren says: “At Omnicom, we recognize the importance of succession planning, and Chuck and I knew that Wendy would be the right person to take the helm of DDB. Her experience leading DDB North America coupled with her expertise as a leading marketer makes this a seamless leadership transition that will build upon DDB’s capabilities and reputation as a leader in the business.”

Landing Clark from Coca-Cola was quite a coup for Omnicom and she has impressed at DDB with her energy and openness to new ideas.

She has a few challenges though. DDB has slipped in the creative stakes in recent years despite the efforts of the jewel in the crown, the UK’s multi award-winning adam&eveDDB. A&E, now wholly owned by Omnicom has a toehold in the US with a New York office, set up to handle Samsung. It’s also being pressured by some clients to do more in continental Europe.

Clark needs to find a way to integrate A&E into DDB on a global level to power the network.

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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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