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
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
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
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.