Between the Lines: Duff is what Universal needs

Graham Duff is a popular and successful figure on the UK advertising scene. During his time as the chief executive of the then Zenith Media and later at Granada Enterprises, he proved himself to be an effective leader.

Things may have turned sour at ITV, but Duff was keen to return to the media agency side after completing a business course in the US. Universal McCann, which he joins as its president for Europe, the Middle East and Africa (page 1), might not be everyone's idea of a dream destination but at least its Interpublic parent is committed to the task of reviving its fortunes.

Nick Brien, Universal's chief executive, says investing in talent is his number-one priority and Duff is apparently the first of a number of new arrivals.

Stemming the tide of client reviews is another important priority for Universal - the support of its parent company, IPG Media, will be vital in helping to bolster Universal's standing against new-business predators such as WPP's Group M.

All in all, Duff faces no small challenge but he is just the sort of person that Universal needs.

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