Ogilvy & Mather has poached Mark Earls, the planning director at St
Luke's, to fill the vacant role of executive planning director.
Earls will join O&M in October after completing a sabbatical period
during which he is writing a book. He has been absent from St Luke's,
which he joined in 1999, since April.
O&M needed to bolster its senior planning division following the
departure of Beth Barry, the previous executive planning director,
earlier this year. O&M's head of planning, Janet Grimes, also left at
the end of last year to join the digital consultancy
Earls, 40, will head a team of around 30 planners at O&M. Before joining
St Luke's, he was the head of planning at Bates UK and also spent five
years at Still Price as a board planner. He has also had stints at BMP
DDB and Grey.
At St Luke's, Earls worked alongside the then chief executive, David
Abraham, on the agency's future strategy programme and was closely
involved with the HSBC, Clark's, BSkyB and COI Communications accounts.
Abraham has since left the agency to join Discovery Networks as managing
"The scale of things at O&M is clearly very interesting but it's not
just the size. They are a bunch of people who want to do something
special," Earls said. "St Luke's is a great company, David and I worked
on things closely together. It has a great future but for me the
excitement of taking something bigger and probably something that is
more of a challenge was too much to refuse."
Paul Simons, O&M's chairman and chief executive, said: "Mark's concern
with innovation and new ways of working singled him out as the ideal
candidate to move our planning capabilities on to the next level in O&M
and with shared group clients."
At present Earls is in the process of completing his book, The Death of
Marketing: A Handbook for the Creative Age. He served as co-chair of the
Account Planning Group from 1997 to 1999.