AMV poaches Cox to support Souter

Tony Cox is to take a senior role in the Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO creative department, ending a decade-long association with BMP DDB where he was executive creative director.

Tony Cox is to take a senior role in the Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO

creative department, ending a decade-long association with BMP DDB where

he was executive creative director.



The 56-year-old industry veteran will take the title of creative

director, although the department will remain under the control of its

executive chief, Peter Souter.



Agency sources stressed this week that the appointment was not the

result of misgivings about Souter’s ability to fill the post vacated by

AMV’s creative founding father, David Abbott, but to lighten an enormous

workload.



Souter said: ’I don’t care what people think. Nobody is putting me under

pressure and hiring Tony was my idea. This is what I want.’



AMV chiefs hope Cox’s role as ’elder statesman’ will restore some

high-level experience to the creative department, and the balance to

what it was under Abbott when Alfredo Marcantonio - now with

Interpublic - and Souter himself were among Abbott’s lieutenants.



As well as helping run the department, Cox will continue producing ads

and be involved in new-business presentations and international

work.



Cox signed a contract with AMV on Wednesday afternoon, concluding

several weeks of secret talks between the two.



Sources say the overtures began before Omnicom’s takeover of AMV and

that Cox’s switch from another Omnicom-owned shop is coincidental and

not influenced by the US-based company.



Cox, who was stalked by AMV ten years ago when he joined the then BMP

Davidson Pearce from DDB Needham, was a school teacher, university tutor

and radio playwright before a succession of copywriting jobs at Scottish

agencies.



He moved into the executive creative director’s slot at BMP when Larry

Barker returned from WCRS to take day-to-day charge of the creative

department. Chris Powell, BMP’s chairman, said: ’Tony secured the

creative succession at BMP a year ago.’



He has yet to be assigned specific responsibilities at AMV, although

Souter said it was likely that each would take charge of one of the

agency’s biggest accounts - BT and Sainsbury’s.



’I’m Tony’s boss and he is my superior,’ Souter added. ’I can’t pretend

that he doesn’t know more than I ever will. I’ll be leaning heavily on

him, but if at the end of the day, our ads are no good, it will be my

fault.’



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