Manning Gottlieb OMD appoints Ffitch as managing director

LONDON - Manning Gottlieb OMD has promoted Robert Ffitch to the role of managing director. Ffitch, a managing partner at the agency, has been made the managing director 15 years after he helped to launch Manning Gottlieb Media as one of its founding members of staff.

His promotion follows a restructure at the agency last October that saw the OMD group chief executive, Nick Manning, install three managing partners -- Ffitch, Neil Hurman and Phil Nunn -- to run MG OMD.

This followed the departure of the managing director, Alison Wright, who left without a job to go to.

Ffitch was the first employee of Manning Gottlieb Media when it launched in 1990, working closely with Manning and Colin Gottlieb, now the chief executive of OMD Europe. He previously worked with Manning and Gottlieb at CIA.

In 1994, Ffitch became a board director, before moving in 1996 to run Manning Gottlieb's shortlived joint venture with the direct agency MGM Brann. More recently, he has managed key accounts including Virgin Trains.

Last year, MG OMD entered the top-10 media agencies by billings for the first time, coinciding with the creation of OPera, Omnicom's buying unit that includes MG OMD, OMD UK and PHD. This was followed by a relatively lacklustre new-business performance that saw MG OMD lose accounts such as More Th>n and the AA.

However, the capture this week of the £30m Sony BMG business provides a welcome boost and it won several awards last year.

Since Wright's departure, Ffitch and his fellow managing partners have been working on ways of recapturing MG OMD's reputation for creative planning as part of the overall OMD offering.

Ffitch said: "We want to build our business and reputation of being an exciting, pioneering, innovative and forward-looking communications solutions company. All the blocks are in place."

Manning said: "The three of them [Ffitch, Hurman and Nunn] are a talented trio and have done a very good job of getting the agency into its present shape. Robert has really got the bit between his teeth over the past few months."

He added: "Robert's an incredibly good client guy, he's got utter integrity and he's liked by everyone he meets."

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