Mark Stockdale has been promoted to head Leo Burnett’s planning
department, following a move by Neil Cassie, the deputy chairman, to
focus on a European role.
Stockdale, who assumes the title of executive planning director, was
chosen because he combines good management with good planning skills,
according to the agency’s managing director, Nick Brien.
‘He is a strong team player, who works very closely with other
disciplines. He’s a good man-manager as well as an exceptional planner,’
Stockdale has been at Burnetts since 1992, joining after five years as a
senior planner with Leagas Delaney. Before that he worked at J. Walter
Thompson and Allen Brady and Marsh.
In his new role, he will follow in the footsteps of Cassie, who will
relinquish day-to-day control of the planning department to devote more
time to promoting planning in the rest of Burnetts’ European network.
Stockdale is a strong supporter of Burnetts’ move away from a
traditional structure over the past two years towards a more flexible
‘brand team’ way of working. He said that too many agency planning
departments were stuck in a time warp, still defining planning as
‘representing the voice of the consumer’. He believes that this, in
fact, is more the role of a researcher.
Stockdale favours the integration of planning so that planners spend
less time defending their ground and more time being part of a team that
takes responsibility for generating ideas.