Between the Lines: JWT seeks fresh approach

Simon Bolton has been a relatively low-key chief executive. But he's also stabilised an agency that previously looked to be on the slide and has made some shrewd moves. The news that JWT is looking for a new role for him will inevitably be seen as a reflection on Bolton and his agency's recent performance (page 1).

Yet for much of last year, JWT seemed on a roll. Admittedly, much of the momentum came from international holding company-led wins. But, nevertheless, JWT was snapping at the heels of Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO for the largest UK agency slot and seemed to be enjoying something of a creative renaissance.

And doubts among cynics about Bolton's suitability for the role diminished.

However, the Sainsbury's, British Airways and Omo pitches have proved to be disappointments and distractions. And, as the leader of the London agency, Bolton is left carrying the can.

But will the next management line-up prove a dramatic enough change to make the upheaval and insecurity worthwhile?


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