Patterson out at WPP’s Conquest

Lansdown Conquest and its chief executive, Bill Patterson, are parting company and control of the agency is being passed to a triumvirate of his senior hirings.

Lansdown Conquest and its chief executive, Bill Patterson, are

parting company and control of the agency is being passed to a

triumvirate of his senior hirings.



The WPP-owned shop confirmed this week that Patterson - known for his

aggressive management style - was bowing out after four years to be

succeeded by Julian Saunders, 40, currently managing and planning

director.



He will run the agency alongside John Wringe, 41, and Simon Frank, 39,

who will be managing and creative partners respectively.



The departure of Patterson, 44, who joined Lansdown in July 1994 from

Ogilvy & Mather Media where he was managing director, brings down the

curtain on a less-than-easy period for the agency which has endured a

high staff turnover. It is understood he will not be offered a job

elsewhere within WPP.



’Bill is a lone operator and his ’big leader’ style isn’t necessarily in

line with the kind of new-wave agency that Lansdown aspires to be,’ one

industry source said. Another commented: ’Bill ran the place as his

personal fiefdom.’



At the same time, Patterson is understood to have had a cool

relationship with Luca Lindner, the Italian chief executive of the

Conquest network and a key manager on its Alfa Romeo account.



Patterson was putting a brave face on the split. He said: ’While I

believe that the time has come for me to take on a new challenge, the

existing management team is in an ideal position to continue the

agency’s development.’



Lindner said: ’He leaves the agency in good shape with an excellent

client base and a very talented team in place.’



None of the new team have been with the pounds 25 million-billing

agency, ranked 42nd in the UK, for more than three years. Frank joined

in 1995 from Euro RSCG and Saunders arrived the following year from O&M.

Wringe, the former Publicis client services director, moved to the

agency in June.



Lansdown has recently been involved in three major pitches. It lost to

Grey in the contest for the Sporting Life and failed to beat Walsh Trott

Chick Smith in the fight for the Marston’s Pedigree bitter account. It

currently awaits the result of its attempt to capture Matthew Clark’s

pounds 3 million Blackthorn cider and Diamond White assignments.



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