Jacobs departs Millward Brown for consultancy start-up

LONDON - Brian Jacobs, the executive vice-president and head of global media practice at the research company Millward Brown, is leaving the WPP company.

Jacobs will leave in May to launch a media consultancy called Brian Jacobs & Associates. The former Universal McCann executive vice-president joined Millward Brown in 2003.

During his two-and-a-half years at the company, Jacobs helped to build its media unit, which focused on advising clients on the returns they received from their adspend.

His new business will work on an international basis to supply clients with media expertise. The former MindShare and Universal McCann executives Katia Fisher and Ruth Harris have been signed up as consultants. It will focus on improving the efficiency of advertisers' activity by improving communication between their agencies.

Millward Brown is now working on integrating media thinking into its core services.

Eric Salama, the chief executive of Kantar, WPP's insight and consulting division, said: "It's not simply a matter of who's replacing Brian, it's more how Millward Brown structures itself to be able to deliver for key clients and in key markets. It's not simply Millward Brown either -- media thinking and working with media agencies has got to figure more prominently in all of our outputs across Kantar."

Kantar recently hired the former Starcom MediaVest EMEA chief executive Mark Cranmer as the global chief executive of its Research International business.

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