David Gray is to return to Young and Rubicam, the agency he left in 1994
to begin a two-year stint as the head of AT&T’s advertising and
marketing in Europe.
Gray steps into the role of director of business development for Y&R
Europe, a position which has been vacant since the departure of Keith
Lincoln six months ago.
Gray was headhunted from Y&R by AT&T, a client of the network, at a time
when he was overseeing the roll-out of the acclaimed Carl Lewis Pirelli
spot as the global account’s managing director.
At AT&T, Gray masterminded a pan-European brand awareness campaign
through McCann-Erickson, the telecoms company’s main European agency.
But he recently decided it was time for a change. ‘It’s been the most
interesting time of my life. AT&T’s advertising was at a very early
stage and it was a fantastic challenge,’ he said. A replacement has not
yet been named.
Y&R Europe’s chairman and chief executive, Fernan Montero, said: ‘We’ve
done quite well in new business and had the good fortune to be able to
wait for the right person. We’ve stayed close to David and when we heard
he wanted to move, we jumped. We’ve watched him evolve at AT&T and
that’s a crucial part of our decision to bring him into new business.’
Gray will be spearheading a long-term strategy at Y&R Europe, with a
focus on adding new clients to its portfolio. Montero added: ‘He’s
hitting the ground running. We’ve a number of big prospects, which may
break by year-end. He’ll be stepping into a couple of pitches, or
conversations at least.’
‘It’s a very interesting and challenging job,’ Gray added. ‘And Y&R is a
very different place to the one I left. It’s in great shape.’
Montero described Gray as a ‘statesman of British advertising’. Before
Y&R, he was at GGT developing broadcast sponsorship. His other
experience includes spells at the Lowe Group, Collett Dickenson Pearce,
Yellowhammer and Allen Brady Marsh.