I see that former Dentsu Aegis Network UK chairman Stef Calcraft has resurfaced as global creative supremo of giant WPP media agency network MediaCom.
Calcraft (below), a founder of creative agency mother and before that at BBH and Unilever, left DAN after less than a year in December. DAN made a number of big changes around this time, including the departure of long-serving CEO Jerry Buhlmann.
WPP CEO Mark Read has promised to invest in more top level creative talent and Calcraft, although a suit, certainly has the creative creds from Mother. But it’s odd to see such a role being created at MediaCom rather than, say, one of WPP’s creative networks which include Wunderman Thompson, VMLY&R and Ogilvy.
Media agencies have been encroaching on creative territory in recent years. WPP’s Wavemaker (a merger between Maxus and MEC) handles a number of clients on what seems to be a full service basis. Wavemaker was originally the name of MEC’s creative unit.
Creative agencies often complain that media agencies get in first with the client, leaving their big idea shoehorned into a media plan comprising thousands of digital executions. If someone like Calcraft can help to create a more integrated offer that will presumably benefit both sides of the argument.
If it’s creative work emanating from MediaCom then it’s back to everyone eating each other’s lunch. In which case you may as well re-integrate creative and media.
But with the odd exception – The&Partnership’s m/Six for example – none of the biggies have been brave enough to do that yet.