The FCB network is moving two of its most senior executives -
including its worldwide creative director - to London in an effort to
build its European and global profile after the demise of its
ill-starred worldwide alliance with Publicis.
Geoff Thompson, executive creative director at FCB’s Chicago
headquarters, will base himself in the UK from next month with a brief
to attract accounts that will allow the network to show itself off
He is being joined by John Penberthy, managing director of FCB Direct in
New York, who will oversee the development of the network’s direct
marketing operation outside the US.
His arrival will also be the catalyst for FCB in London to move into the
direct marketing arena, via start-up or acquisition, by early next
The changes mean that two of the seven members of FCB’s worldwide board,
Thompson and Harry Reid, the president of FCB International, will
operate out of the UK. They reflect the intentions of Brendan Ryan,
FCB’s worldwide chairman, to end FCB’s preoccupation with its domestic
market by shifting its global centre of gravity.
Top priority is being given to the establishment of a credible European
network - bolstered eight months ago by the acquisition of Wilkens
International, the former Ayer Europe operation.
Thompson, best known for his high-profile work on Levi’s in the US,
said: ’We’re deliberately focusing new business on clients who will
allow us to do showcase work,’ he said. ’Although we have a lot of big
and traditional advertisers, you can’t get to Cannes on them.’