Opinion: Perspective - Despite successes, the Ogilvy job is far from done

All change at Ogilvy again, then. For such a solid, stolid and, frankly, quite bland international network, Ogilvy has managed to have a surprisingly colourful ride here.

In a decade the agency has had three chief executives. Not a bad track record really compared with other big London agencies. But so many of the other senior positions in the ad agency have also churned in that time that any opportunity for real progress has been consistently undermined.

But when the South African Gary Leih arrived as the group CEO four years ago, there was a real sense that, finally, it was time for stability and for the rediscovery of some local flair. Leih, after all, is a charismatic, energetic and ballsy leader with the sort of big personality that had been disastrously absent from the London office.

And Leih did make some significant advances. For a start, he began fighting for the agency to move from the isolation of Canary Wharf. News this week that Ogilvy is in negotiations to lease a new office block in Kings Cross suggest Leih might finally have won this particular battle.

Then, just ahead of the pack, he put integration on the agenda and successfully managed to create a unified Ogilvy structure around the disparate group companies (though perhaps his task here was easier than most because he didn't have a dominant above-the-line agency to distract him from his purpose).

But there were mistakes. Leih inherited Ogilvy's white hope, the creative director, Malcolm Poynton; it didn't work out and Poynton's departure last year was shambolically handled and for too long now the agency has lacked single-minded, forceful creative command. The choice of Guy Lambert as the leader of the ad agency was also a misfire.

So it's not surprising that there has been little change in Ogilvy London's over-reliance on internationally aligned clients. Domestic new business has been pitiful. Perhaps the agency is profitable enough to make domestic revenue simply icing. But no company can afford such complacency in the current climate.

Rumours that Ogilvy has been muscling in on British Airways and Barclays have so far failed to materialise as new business and an agency that lacks a CEO, an ECD and has a temporary managing director stands little chance of converting prospects. It's almost impossible to see why any UK pitch consultant would nudge business Ogilvy's way right now; there's no doubt Leih leaves behind him an unfinished job.

Running a UK office of a global network often leaves little room for entrepreneurialism, for management flair and for inspirational leadership. But those are exactly the qualities Ogilvy desperately needs right now, both at CEO level and in its creative chief. It's one of the world's powerhouse agency networks but has tumbled outside the top ten in London with a reputation for ... well, nothing much.

Balancing the demands of the network with injecting local personality is a tough call. Few networked agencies have made much progress on this front but therein lies the opportunities for Ogilvy's next management line-up. Let's hope that the new set of leaders charged with reviving the Ogilvy brand are given the time and head to make a real difference.

Did you hear the one about the 15- year-old boy who stunned the world's key financial markets with his report on the media habits of him and his mates?

You might, of course, think that with a robust multibillion-dollar research industry underpinning the marketing efforts of companies big and small, the experts had all the answers.

As it turned out, Matthew Robson's views on Twitter ("strictly for the elderly"), newspapers ("teenagers can't be bothered to read them") and the web (ads on websites are "annoying and pointless") caused a storm. Proving that the real experts are, naturally, the consumers themselves.