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
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
He is credited with the early transformation of AMV into a broad-based
communications group, building up important City connections as he did