Ex-Ogilvy Clare Donald joins King’s team at Publicis as production supremo

Publicis UK, which sits on top of Saatchi & Saatchi, Leo Burnett and the Publicis agency under country manager Annette King, is looking a lot like Ogilvy. King was UK boss of Ogilvy Group before moving to Publicis and now she’s hired one-time Ogilvy production chief Clare Donald (below centre with COO Ben Mooge and King) as her new chief production officer.

The popular and experienced Donald was formerly global MD of Unreasonable Studios and has also spent time at Google Creative Lab and a number of top agencies.

King says: “We understand the unique and varied challenges facing our clients and having Clare join us reflects the importance of production as a multi-discipline capability for our clients. I’m delighted to be working with Clare again and know that she will bring an impressive heritage of finding new paths to growth through our connected and agile operating model.”

Donald says: “As deliverables and platforms multiply, the role of production is ever more critical to success for any client. I am excited about taking my production company, agency and client experience to create a truly future facing solution.”

Publicis’ production operation is called Prodigious, another effort by the holding companies to reclaim production from independents. Production used to be a big source of creative agency profits when costs were cheerfully marked up by prodigious amounts.

If Publicis’ much-trumpeted ‘Power of One’ is to work it needs profitable centralisation to work. Publicis Groupe UK may still be seen as the power of two-and-a-half (Saatchi & Saatchi, Leo Burnett, now run by ex-Ogilvy Charlie Rudd, and Publicis.

King, though, now has an Ogilvy flavoured team around her. Progress has not been rapid since she joined Publicis a couple of years ago but her operation and Saatchi & Saatchi recently wrested the big new BT corporate campaign from Omnicom’s AMV BBDO and produced BT’s best campaign in years.

This just might give the Power of One the momentum in the UK it needs.

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