Ogilvy NA Appoints Discipline Specific MDs

Interesting note in the press from the US about Ogilvy North America. 

A lot of bigger agencies have been experimenting with mixing up teams, de-accentuating or eliminating P&Ls, and cross-training up people so they can deliver integrated solutions.

The question is does it work?  At Ogilvy in NY the decision has been made to have separate MDs running DM and Advertising — which means perhaps not.

“We were trying to get people not to worry about a P&L and to think in a more holistic way about [client] solutions,” said John Seifert, North American chairman of The Ogilvy Group. “The effect that it had — which we discovered pretty quickly — is that it started to create a kind of grayness to what each discipline stood for.”

And, it must be assumed, that must have impacted on how the teams reacted to client requests and the quality of the work.  Otherwise the agency — which is one of the most mature and best run of the big established agencies — wouldn’t change course.

They’ll run their divisions, but then they’ll have an accountability on her [Carla Hendra’s] leadership team to make the whole greater than the sum of the parts.”

“There should be a common culture and philosophy of our promise to clients,” said Seifert. “But … we don’t want that to be lost in a mushed-up ‘we’re all one’ kind of model.”

Interesting to see — and equally interesting that DM and Advertising are seen as requiring separate management, but Digital is not.  Like a lot of established agencies, the management of DM, Advertising, Media, Heathcare Marketing, and PR have proven their case that their disciplines have a complexity and special skills that require nurturing and dedicated management. 

But poor OgilvyInteractive – despite being the oldest interactive agency brands and having a good case to celebrate turning 25 this year — languishes in integration without dedicated management. 

Be interesting to see how that works out as the year progresses.


Ogilvy Team: Separate but Equal

A restructuring in New York results in two new managing directors

March 8, 2009

-By Andrew McMains

NEW YORK When Ogilvy & Mather named separate managing directors for advertising and direct marketing at its New York headquarters last week, it was a tacit acknowledgment that having co-leaders across all disciplines bred confusion among staffers and a lack of accountability among bosses.

“We were trying to get people not to worry about a P&L and to think in a more holistic way about [client] solutions,” said John Seifert, North American chairman of The Ogilvy Group. “The effect that it had — which we discovered pretty quickly — is that it started to create a kind of grayness to what each discipline stood for.”


Management Techniques for the Digital Age: BzzAgent Blog

I’ve always been impressed by the information that Dave Balter and the team at BzzAgent share through their BeeLog.

It makes sense — no confidentiality is broken and it allows people that are evaluating the company (clients, potential employees, partners) to educate themselves about their business and be smarter when working with the company. It also broadens the number of people that can give their input into what the company is doing — input which generally makes the company smarter.

It also a great tool for management — a forum for instant public recognition. Whether putting someone’s “name up in lights,” or “naming and shaming,” a company blog is a sort of a light-weight version of the more traditional atomic bomb, the press release.

Here is a great example BzzAgent did thinking about how they are working with their advisory board.

Basically the team at BzzAgent inserted a joke slide in their advisory board presentation entitled “Investor / Advisor Litigation Update.” Clearly a title that should get peoples’ attention. And of course under half noticed the slide or commented on it in their feedback to the company.

It is the bane of the world we’ve created that no one has time (or being busy has become fashionable?) and that business people don’t read, they only scan. Pretty soon we’ll need comment buttons on the bottom of e-mails and powerpoint presentations where people can indicate they actually reviewed them.

Advisors Advising

August 21st, 2007

Since early 2003, BzzAgent has had an Advisory Board.

In the early days, before we had an official Corporate Board, we met a few times and we worked with a number of individuals to help us with specific projects such as patenting our WOM process and the best approach to certain partnerships. But as the company accelerated, and we’ve added board members, executives and staff, it’s been immensely difficult to utilize this group of experts. Individually, each would gladly help if we reached out, but as a whole this cluster is relatively distant. [more]

The End is Near (again)

Shops Stand to Lose in Digital Revolution

November 14, 2007 By Brian Morrissey

Agencies have the most to lose in the new digital order, even more than broadcasters, per industry leaders surveyed by Accenture.

NEW YORK Changing consumer habits, driven by the shift from analog to digital media, are revolutionizing the ad industry. But that could spell bad news for agencies, according to a new study by Accenture.According to 70 industry leaders surveyed by Accenture, agencies have the most to lose in the new order, even more than broadcasters. When asked who would fare worst in the transition to digital advertising, 43 percent said agencies, compared to 33 percent who answered broadcasters. Cable operators were third with 10 percent. No respondents chose search companies or digital ad specialists. IBM

The end of advertising as we know it

IBM Institute for Business Value study

Imagine an advertising world where… spending on interactive, one-to-one advertising formats surpasses traditional, one-to-many advertising vehicles, and a significant share of ad space is sold through auctions and exchanges. Advertisers know who viewed and acted on an ad, and pay based on real impact rather than estimated “impressions.” Consumers self-select which ads they watch and share preferred ads with peers. User-generated advertising is as prevalent (and appealing) as agency-created spots.Based on IBM global surveys of more than 2,400 consumers and 80 advertising experts, we see four change drivers shifting control within the industry.