Ogilvy’s Andy Main lures Devika Bulchandani from McCann in first big move

New Ogilvy CEO Andy Main, hired from Deloitte Digital, has made his first big move, bringing in Devika Bulchandani from McCann as North America CEO and global chairwoman of advertising – whatever that means. Maybe that she knows more about it than digital manager Main.

Bulchandani (above) was McCann’s North America president during a good period for the agency where she has spent most of her career. Bulchandani says: “When Andy called, there was something poetic and powerful in being in one of the industry’s most storied agencies, keeping its creativity and taking it into the future.”

So far Ogilvy has evaded the series of internal mergers that have changed WPP radically under CEO Mark Read. These include the formation of Wunderman Thompson, VMLY&R (now including Geometry in VMLY&R Commerce) and AKQA Group which has absorbed Grey.

Ogilvy was former CEO and founder Sir Martin Sorrell’s most acrimonious acquisition, Ogilvy founder David Ogilvy resisting to the end although he later took up a largely honorary position. Ogilvy was a holding company on its own and stayed so until recently (it even had a media agency [email protected]) when, in the latest of several revamps it set out to be ‘One Ogilvy.’

It’s likely to remain one Ogilvy it seems and, maybe, that’s what Main insisted on when he was lured from Deloitte.

Bulchandani has a big job too. “Creativity” is constantly parroted in these WPP mergers but there’s not much evidence of the new entities delivering it although AKQA has remained consistently good in its “experience design” niche since it was bought by Sorrell.

McCann in the US (and now in the UK) has managed to balance the need to be keep big clients happy with a decent creative output more successfully than most. Which is presumably why Bulchandani has been hired by Main.

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About Stephen Foster

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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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