Omnicom hands top role to Mead

Peter Mead is to become vice-chairman of Omnicom, the US-based communications company which owns Abbott Mead Vickers, the agency group he helped found.

Peter Mead is to become vice-chairman of Omnicom, the US-based

communications company which owns Abbott Mead Vickers, the agency group

he helped found.



The appointment of the AMV group chairman comes three months after

Omnicom moved from a 27.7 per cent shareholding in the UK company to

take full control.



Mead, who made more than pounds 3 million from the sale of his 700,000

shares, will remain honorary chairman of Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO, which

is Britain’s largest agency.



A broader role for Mead had been anticipated since the takeover by

Omnicom, which wants to exploit his links with the City where he has

long been regarded as the acceptable face of UK advertising. Mead played

a key role in expediting the deal with Omnicom and the personal

chemistry between himself and John Wren, Omnicom’s chief executive, is

said to have been an important factor in its speedy completion.



Mead is expected to become an advisor to Wren on acquisitions and

investments and in the company’s relationships with Wall Street. He will

have no line responsibilities and Omnicom’s other UK agency operations,

BMP DDB and TBWA GGT Simons Palmer, will not report to him.



’Peter has been a fantastic ambassador for this company in the City and

he has always represented us with great style and integrity,’ Michael

Baulk, the chief executive of AMV, said. ’I have said lots of times that

I imagine Omnicom would be smart enough to take advantage of his skill

and experience.’



Born into a working-class family in Peckham, Mead has always been seen

as a sharp contrast to his fellow AMV founders, David Abbott and Adrian

Vickers, who were contemporaries at Oxford.



He served his agency apprenticeship as an account man at Doyle Dane

Bernbach and S. H. Benson and has become as much a celebrity outside the

industry as inside it, through his spell as chairman at Millwall

football club.



He is credited with the early transformation of AMV into a broad-based

communications group, building up important City connections as he did

so.



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