Between the lines: AMV: all change, no change

Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO will miss the wisdom of Michael Baulk, its chairman. Although, as the group chairman, he will still be involved, Britain's consummate adman is a hard act to follow.

Succession management is a tricky business to pull off, all the more so when it involves a deep-rooted culture such as AMV has enjoyed. In its initial transition in the late 90s from founder-led agency to one where first-generation management, under Baulk and Andrew Robertson, took control, AMV proved a textbook case.

Of late, however, it has struggled to retain its market-leading status. Its creative output has lost lustre and, in terms of billings, J. Walter Thompson is catching up with it fast.

The promotion of Farah Ramzan Golant to chief executive suggests Baulk recognises a more hard-driving style of management is needed. But where is the infusion of new blood that someone from the outside may have brought?

A missed opportunity, one might conclude.

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