CLOSE-UP: NEWSMAKER/IAIN FERGUSON - Ferguson's promotion is a sign of Euro RSCG's diverse ambition, Ian Darby writes

Euro RSCG Wnek Gosper appointment of Iain Ferguson as its global

chief executive officer for marketing services is the latest move

towards extending its offering. The network has made a whole series of

appointments recently that are designed to expand its non-advertising

services.



Bob Schmetterer, the global chairman and chief executive officer of Euro

RSCG Worldwide, has already brought in Ira Matathia and Marian Salzman

from Young & Rubicam to build on Euro RSCG's brand strategy

offering.



Last week he also announced that Margaret Wagner, an internal

appointment, will be its first director of integrated client services.

Wagner will attempt to bring together Euro RSCG's five divisions to

create integrated solutions for clients.



Within this new vision of Euro RSCG as an integrated services agency

Ferguson is charged with driving forward the marketing services

portfolio, which comprises 72 agencies in 32 countries. He is an affable

and charismatic Scot who has worked for the last three years in a group

role for Euro RSCG in Europe and before this ran KLP, its UK sales

promotion and direct operation.



Ferguson took the chief executive role at KLP in 1992, after working on

the client side at GrandMet Brewing and BAT. He has become a major

player in the sales promotion industry, taking on several industry roles

including chairman of the Sales Promotion Consultants Association.



He replaces Daniel Morel in the global role and, while his job might not

be as tough as Morel's task at Impiric, he has his work cut out to bring

Euro RSCG's diverse marketing services operations together as a strong

unit.



The move to do this has already been started by Euro RSCG with the

creation of The Sales Machine, which owns 70 agencies across 40

countries.



Ferguson says that not all of Euro RSCG's marketing services agencies

will be branded Sales Machine.



This is a different approach to that adopted by rival networks. Ferguson

says that some agencies do not fit the Sales Machine brand, which he

says stands for 'focus on measurable performance and expertise in direct

marketing, sales promotion and database'.



Schmetterer says that he has promoted Ferguson because of his 'strong

network-building talent and entrepreneurial energy'. Those who know

Ferguson back this view of him. 'New York (where Ferguson will be based)

is a great aphrodisiac,' Louise Wall, the managing director of

ehs:realtime, says.



'Iain needs a big canvas to paint on. He likes to go in, listen and sort

out problems before moving onto the next thing. He has a low boredom

threshold.'



Friends also point to Ferguson's ability as a speaker and raconteur.

'Iain's key strength is that he is utterly charming,' Wall adds. 'This

is aided by that attractive Scottish accent which enables him to take

the heat out of a situation.'



Within the Euro RSCG network, Ferguson is undoubtedly a key player.

According to one Havas source, he is frequently involved in global

discussions and client courtship before many senior advertising

executives. Ferguson's promotion to the top marketing services role is a

natural elevation. It remains to be seen how long this will hold his

interest.



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1 Job description: Digital marketing executive

Digital marketing executives oversee the online marketing strategy for their organisation. They plan and execute digital (including email) marketing campaigns and design, maintain and supply content for the organisation's website(s).