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.