Earls takes O&M top planning job

Ogilvy & Mather has poached Mark Earls, the planning director at St

Luke's, to fill the vacant role of executive planning director.

Earls will join O&M in October after completing a sabbatical period

during which he is writing a book. He has been absent from St Luke's,

which he joined in 1999, since April.

O&M needed to bolster its senior planning division following the

departure of Beth Barry, the previous executive planning director,

earlier this year. O&M's head of planning, Janet Grimes, also left at

the end of last year to join the digital consultancy


Earls, 40, will head a team of around 30 planners at O&M. Before joining

St Luke's, he was the head of planning at Bates UK and also spent five

years at Still Price as a board planner. He has also had stints at BMP

DDB and Grey.

At St Luke's, Earls worked alongside the then chief executive, David

Abraham, on the agency's future strategy programme and was closely

involved with the HSBC, Clark's, BSkyB and COI Communications accounts.

Abraham has since left the agency to join Discovery Networks as managing


"The scale of things at O&M is clearly very interesting but it's not

just the size. They are a bunch of people who want to do something

special," Earls said. "St Luke's is a great company, David and I worked

on things closely together. It has a great future but for me the

excitement of taking something bigger and probably something that is

more of a challenge was too much to refuse."

Paul Simons, O&M's chairman and chief executive, said: "Mark's concern

with innovation and new ways of working singled him out as the ideal

candidate to move our planning capabilities on to the next level in O&M

and with shared group clients."

At present Earls is in the process of completing his book, The Death of

Marketing: A Handbook for the Creative Age. He served as co-chair of the

Account Planning Group from 1997 to 1999.