There seems to be a round of musical chairs currently in the ranks of big creative agencies: last week Chaka Sobhani replaced Liz Taylor as global CCO of Publicis-owned Leo Burnett. What had happened to Ms Taylor (below), there for just two years, we wondered.
Now we know, she’s going to be the new global CCO of WPP’s Ogilvy, replacing Piyush Pandey, who’s staying as chairman of global creative and India. Taylor (who has worked in a senior role at Ogilvy before) is presumably Ogilvy CEO Andy Main’s choice although, maybe, new WPP CCO Rob Reilly had something to do with it. Reilly left the same role at Interpublic’s McCann.
All very nice for the current occupants of these chairs of course, with big salaries and benefits. Does it make advertising, and the creaking fortunes of holding company creative agencies any better, moving the same people around?
There has been a talent drain, of course, especially in the US with many big names signing up for even bigger bucks at the tech giants, especially Apple. Also a number of one-time luminaries have fallen victim to #MeToo. One of Taylor’s predecessors Tham Kai Meng left in smoky circumstances.
What the holding companies need to do is put some real resource behind their creative offer. That’s as true in the UK as the US, as doubtless it is elsewhere. One person, however good they may be, isn’t going to change vast, rambling organisations overnight.