Tony Cox is to take a senior role in the Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO
creative department, ending a decade-long association with BMP DDB where
he was executive creative director.
The 56-year-old industry veteran will take the title of creative
director, although the department will remain under the control of its
executive chief, Peter Souter.
Agency sources stressed this week that the appointment was not the
result of misgivings about Souter’s ability to fill the post vacated by
AMV’s creative founding father, David Abbott, but to lighten an enormous
Souter said: ’I don’t care what people think. Nobody is putting me under
pressure and hiring Tony was my idea. This is what I want.’
AMV chiefs hope Cox’s role as ’elder statesman’ will restore some
high-level experience to the creative department, and the balance to
what it was under Abbott when Alfredo Marcantonio - now with
Interpublic - and Souter himself were among Abbott’s lieutenants.
As well as helping run the department, Cox will continue producing ads
and be involved in new-business presentations and international
Cox signed a contract with AMV on Wednesday afternoon, concluding
several weeks of secret talks between the two.
Sources say the overtures began before Omnicom’s takeover of AMV and
that Cox’s switch from another Omnicom-owned shop is coincidental and
not influenced by the US-based company.
Cox, who was stalked by AMV ten years ago when he joined the then BMP
Davidson Pearce from DDB Needham, was a school teacher, university tutor
and radio playwright before a succession of copywriting jobs at Scottish
He moved into the executive creative director’s slot at BMP when Larry
Barker returned from WCRS to take day-to-day charge of the creative
department. Chris Powell, BMP’s chairman, said: ’Tony secured the
creative succession at BMP a year ago.’
He has yet to be assigned specific responsibilities at AMV, although
Souter said it was likely that each would take charge of one of the
agency’s biggest accounts - BT and Sainsbury’s.
’I’m Tony’s boss and he is my superior,’ Souter added. ’I can’t pretend
that he doesn’t know more than I ever will. I’ll be leaning heavily on
him, but if at the end of the day, our ads are no good, it will be my