John Ward, the Bates UK vice-chairman and one of its
longest-serving executives, is to quit the agency next year.
Regarded as one of the agency’s top strategic brains, Ward, 51, plans to
scale down his involvement with the ad business, which stretches back
three decades, and limit himself to consultancy work.
During his 12 years at the agency, Ward has helped provide continuity
and stability at a senior level during a period of considerable
But he was emphatic this week that his decision to go at some stage next
year had nothing to do with Graham Hinton being axed as chairman last
month and his replacement by Toby Hoare, the former Young & Rubicam
’I told Bates seven months ago that I would be leaving some time in
2000,’ he said. ’I’m still enthusiastic about the business but I don’t
want to continue doing it five days a week.’
He added: ’It’s all very amicable and nothing to do with Toby’s
He’s already proving a joy to work with and I’ll remain with him for as
long as necessary.’
As the agency’s planning chief, Ward was involved in the development of
some of its most famous campaigns including the ’human house’
advertising for Halifax .
Ward began his career as a trainee researcher at J. Walter Thompson in
1969 and joined CDP at the start of its golden era in the early 70s. He
was planning director by the time he left in 1979 to become a founding
partner of Aspect.
After selling Aspect to the US group, Hill Holliday Connors Cosmopulos,
he spent a brief period as joint managing director of Yellowhammer. He
joined the then BSB Dorland as joint deputy managing director in June
He plans to relocate from his home in Berkshire to Dorset where he will
combine consultancy work with writing a novel and an ad textbook.