Cracknell back in Bates restructure

Andrew Cracknell is returning to take creative command of Bates UK - exactly five years after quitting the agency over an acrimonious contractual dispute.

Andrew Cracknell is returning to take creative command of Bates UK

- exactly five years after quitting the agency over an acrimonious

contractual dispute.



His reappointment to the job where he enjoyed his biggest career

successes almost a decade ago coincides with the departure of Jay

Pond-Jones after a less than happy 20 months as executive creative

director.



Pond-Jones has chosen to quit the group after rejecting the offer of a

move to New York to become deputy to the Bates Worldwide creative

director, John Fawcett.



The changes are bound to raise question marks over the long-term future

of Graham Hinton, the Bates UK chairman, who appointed Pond-Jones and who

has staked his reputation on a radical agency restructure that has

provoked the resignations of a number of senior directors.



Meanwhile, there has been mounting concern at the failure to convert

pitches and Bates is known to have approached senior industry figures

about a job at the London agency.



The immediate task for Cracknell, 52, who takes over next week, will be

to stabilise a creative department hit by a number of senior departures,

boost its pitch conversion rate, secure the creative succession and

restore Bates’ reputation for what Hinton called ’big populist brand

campaigns’.



But Cracknell, who spent almost two years as chairman of Ammirati Puris

Lintas after leaving Bates, insisted this week he had no desire to

resume the role of chairman. ’I’ve found I’m no good at it,’ he said. ’I

want to concentrate on caring for the creative department. I don’t want to

wear two hats.’



Pond-Jones is said to have impressed the agency’s senior managers with

his creative talent but there was concern that his retiring personality

might be affecting the outcome of pitches.



Cracknell’s return unites him with key personnel including John

Stubbings, the chief executive, and John Ward, the vice-chairman, both

pivotal in the agency’s renaissance of the late 80s.



’I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad thing to go back,’ Cracknell

said.



’The agency is a different place and I’m different. It has lost some

highly profitable accounts through no fault of its own and I certainly

don’t believe it is letting down its clients.’



Topics

Become a member of Campaign from just £46 a quarter

Get the very latest news and insight from Campaign with unrestricted access to campaignlive.co.uk plus get exclusive discounts to Campaign events

Looking for a new job?

Get the latest creative jobs in advertising, media, marketing and digital delivered directly to your inbox each day.

Create an Alert Now

Partner content

Share

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).