Editorial: Ex-clients can offer real value to agencies

Although the track record of ex-clients running agencies isn't good, the appointment of the former Vodafone and Adidas marketer Neil Simpson as the Publicis London chief executive is to be welcomed.

Having charge of a top agency is becoming less a job for a good ex-account man, more for a financially astute manager who can talk to clients on their own terms. It will always be hard for ex-clients-turned-agency-managers. Selling advertising rather than buying it means having a very different mindset. But their success is vital if agencies are to convince clients they truly understand business.