Eddie Bowman, Ogilvy and Mather’s head of account management, has
promoted three senior account directors to head key accounts including
Bupa, Kimberly-Clark and the Ford Dealers Advertising Association.
Cheryl Giovannoni, Jeanne Nokes and Dan Davies will each take charge of
a group of the agency’s accounts.
Giovannoni’s portfolio will include Bupa and Ryvita, both of which were
handled directly by Bowman. Nokes replaces Don Blashford, who is moving
to O&M in the US to work on Kimberly-Clark. Davies replaces David
Magliano on Ford Dealers. He will also head the Barnardo’s business.
Magliano will take on ’as yet unspecified projects’, Bowman said.
Bowman said: ’Cheryl, Jeanne and Dan are leaders, not co-ordinators, of
Giovannoni joined O&M in 1993 after three years as an account director
at O&M in Johannesburg.
Nokes started in the business at Doyle Dane Bernbach and had spells at
J. Walter Thompson and McCann-Erickson in New York. In 1990 she moved to
McCanns London and, in 1994, joined O&M as a management supervisor on
Unilever Detergents and Foods.
Davies joined O&M in 1994 from Lowe Howard-Spink where he had spent two
years as an account director.
CAM # 02:05:97
INTERVIEW/MICHAEL BUNGEY: Bates captain plots a fresh course for
his agency - Michael Bungey is keen to guard his newly-liberated empire,
John Tylee reports
By JOHN TYLEE
Cast in the role of poor relations for more than a decade, Bates’s
network managers have begun talking like Cinderellas suddenly handed
tickets for the ball.
Last week’s announcement that the group is being set free by its
Cordiant parent to go its own way has released a flood of pent-up
Takeover target or not, its staffers are tired of toiling profitably but
without adequate recognition in the shadow of Bates’s sexier Saatchi and
Saatchi ’sister’. For years, Bates executives have grumbled privately
not only about the lack of support from their Saatchi group masters, but
what they regarded as attempts to undermine them by the now ousted
Maurice Saatchi in trying to plunder its business for the main network.
There was anger that all attempts to build a profile were scuppered when
significant wins seemed to be presented as a Saatchi or a Cordiant
Their sense of grievance and alienation has been exacerbated by their
belief that Bates’s broad base of talent surpasses Saatchis’ patchy
worldwide creative excellence although it has never been equally lauded.
Nor, they believe, has its extraordinary resilience.
’Bates has always been Cordiant’s hidden asset because its profile has
always been second to that of Saatchis,’ Michael Bungey, the Bates
worldwide chairman, says. ’Most agency networks would have buckled if
they’d lost the kind of business we did when Maurice Saatchi departed.
It’s a testament to our operators and our client relationships that we
came through it.’
One senior Bates manager cites last year’s Cannes festival as the best
encapsulation of the network’s predicament. ’We had more shortlisted
print and TV work than anyone else,’ she explains. ’Other networks can
only showcase their New York agency. We can present outstanding work by
Bates shops from Buenos Aires to Sydney. Collectively they give us
enormous creative firepower.’
But therein lay the rub. Saatchis’ status as top dog has usually
prevailed whenever the matter of account conflict has arisen. Although
Bates has 40 clients which it handles in five or more countries, they
could rarely be transferred to the global stage because of clashes with
Saatchis business either locally or internationally.
’You can’t imagine how frustrating it’s been presenting groovy local
work to clients but having to deny them the opportunity of running it
everywhere,’ a Bates manager declares.
The comments reflect the combination of euphoria and bitterness felt by
Bates executives. ’We haven’t even been able to move an agency out of
one office and into another without Cordiant’s approval,’ a Bates source
’We’ve missed out on good agency acquisitions because Cordiant messed
around so much.’
That’s one problem less for Bungey, free to plot the course for a group
no longer held captive by an arrangement in which a holding company has
had little to contribute to subsidiary operations constrained by each
What remains to be seen is whether he can bring cohesion and credibility
to an operation that has been described more as an alliance of local
fiefdoms than a true network but which, nevertheless, faces stiff
competition in a consolidating global market. ’The regions can’t be
allowed to go their own way,’ a Bungey aide insists.
Equally plain is that Bungey will have a tough task creating synergy
between a collection of strong and independent-minded operations from
Scholz and Friends in Hamburg to George Patterson Bates in Sydney, as
well as the US-based Rowland Worldwide PR consultancy and the National
Research Group which will be under the Bates umbrella.
In Bungey’s favour is the fact that he can build from a solid financial
base. Despite the calamitous loss of pounds 270 million of global Mars
business in 1995, Bates turned in a trading profit of pounds 24.5
million last year, pounds 1 million more than the Saatchi network.
’Bates has done a very good job of rebuilding revenue after Mars,’ a
former Saatchi group manager comments. ’But it seems to have happened
through growth from existing client budgets rather than big business
Certainly, Bates has yet to come fully to terms to life without
For more than 40 years the confectionery and petfood multinational was
the network’s glue. British American Tobacco is no real substitute and
the size of its future spend is open to question as tobacco advertisers
across the world face tougher controls.
’I doubt that more than two or three global clients a year put their
business up for pitch,’ Bungey admits. ’When they move it’s usually
because they’re consolidating. I’d love to accelerate the growth of our
global business - it’s going to be a long-term job.’
How quickly such ambitions can be realised may depend how soon Bates’s
New York office - perpetually problematic despite the five years of
attention lavished on it by Bungey - can be turned into an effective
locomotive for the group.
Just as the Saatchi New York operation suffers from the conservative
legacy left by the Garland-Compton agency from which it sprang in 1982,
so the Bates office too has been a victim of its history.
Culture clashes arising from the merger of Ted Bates with Backer and
Spielvogel ten years ago, changes in its managerial front line, as well
as damaging account losses, have hampered efforts to build a consistent
Some industry observers believe its best way forward will be to exploit
the extra flexibility resulting from demerger and freshen its management
via acquisition. Bungey promises significant new hirings in New York and
doesn’t rule out buying if necessary. ’The New York agency is strong but
I want it stronger,’ he says. ’It doesn’t have sufficient critical
A more immediate priority for Bungey may be to reassure the 5,200 staff
who cannot benefit from potentially enriching stock option schemes amid
inevitable takeover speculation between now and when Bates is floated
towards the end of the year.
While Saatchis’ unique culture makes it a less attractive bedfellow,
Bates has been singled out as an acquisition target. Bob Seelert,
Cordiant’s chief executive, however, has insisted that Bates and
Saatchis are ’fully capable of being robust, standalone operations’.
Bungey is contemptuous of such speculation, claiming it will make the
group more determined than ever to prove itself to shareholders.
’Takeover talk is cheap,’ he says. ’But there’s a big difference between
expressing an interest and doing something about it. The speculation is
being fanned by our competitors in an attempt to destabilise us. But
we’re used to it.’
Nevertheless, Grey is making little secret of its interest in Bates
which would not only bolster its presence in South East Asia - ’where we
struggle’- but throw up few client conflicts. True North too has pledged
to satisfy investors with an acquisition although WPP is reluctant to
toss its hat in the ring at present. ’We’ll watch events,’ a WPP source
says. ’At the end of the day it’s a question of price and Bates is too
A similar view is held by Richard Humphreys, the former president and
joint chief executive of Saatchi and Saatchi Worldwide. Two years ago,
along with the South Korean millionaire W. Y. Choi, his then partner in
NW Ayer, Humphreys mounted an unsuccessful bid for Bates.
In a proposal not unlike the current plan, Humphreys suggested acquiring
Bates along with a 50 per cent stake in Zenith Media. Today Humphreys
has interests in software and publishing ventures and is an investor in
Channel 11, the internet TV service. But he has told friends he would
welcome the chance to return to advertising.
After a week of partying, Bates managers worldwide are sobering up to a
new dawn. Bungey says: ’Liberation is all very well but with it comes
responsibility. If we get it wrong we’ve no longer got anybody to blame