FCB chair Susan Credle (below) has become the Interpublic network’s first “creative advisor,” charged with “advancing the culture of creativity at IPG, ensuring it is central in all the network’s work for brands…notably, infusing creative perspectives into emerging offerings such as commerce and marketing technology solutions and generative AI and systemized creative at scale.”
Which sounds quite a lot to be going on with and rather different to the usual role of a network global CCO which often hinges on how many awards they win at Cannes.
IPG CEO Philippe Krakowsky says: “Under Susan’s creative leadership, FCB has dramatically outperformed much larger competitors, being named the Cannes Lions Global Network of the Year, and the Festival’s North America Network of the Year for the last five years, which is an industry first. We wanted to create an opportunity for that impact to extend to the rest of IPG in a role that respects the importance of our agency brands and also positions Susan to inspire and influence the breadth of our company.”
Credle, who will stand down from her FCB role at the end of the year, says: “I’ve been in the FCB role for eight years and I’m thrilled with where we are creatively. Our agencies around the world are set up for continued success, we’ve attracted and nurtured incredible talent, our business is strong and we’re confronting innovation and emerging technologies faster and more aggressively. I feel like I now have the bandwidth to take on this next challenge and help IPG continue to build this amazing culture.”
Creative is an ongoing problem for most of the holding companies. It still accounts for a big part of revenue (45% in WPP’s case) but they are making little or no money from it. Many reasons are offered: unwieldy structures compared to their indie rivals, digital taking over or the simple fact that they aren’t good enough at it.
IPG has had problems with its digital agencies R/GA and Huge, once the poster boys of the network, although McCann and smaller sibling FCB, where Credle was CCO, seem to have doing OK. No worse than the rest of the company anyway.
Technology, especially AI, is the new hoped-for magic wand for all of them. Credle has a big job on her hands.