Between the Lines: Burns provides global view

JWT has acted quickly to fill its chief executive's chair, vacated by Simon Bolton in December (page 1). Alison Burns was sounded out by the network in 2001, before the job was handed to Bolton, which no doubt facilitated such alacrity this time around. In Burns, the agency has found a Brit with an international perspective. Her years in the US as agency executive and client (at PepsiCo) will suit JWT's increasingly international client list.

She will have to work hard, however, to ensure the London agency maintains a balance with domestic clients. Key to this will be a successful relationship with the executive creative director, Nick Bell, who had a difficult relationship with her predecessor. A new planning director is a matter of urgency if the agency is going to get its pitch team in order.

Her broad range of experience suggests Burns is a good hiring for JWT.

It's also a healthy move for the wider London market. She'll bring a new perspective and, by hiring from the US, no UK agencies will suffer the musical chairs triggered when an executive is poached.

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