Powell moves to BMP’s back seat

BMP DDB, today named Campaign’s agency of the year for 1998, has announced that Chris Powell, who has been chief executive since 1986, is to take a more backseat role as chairman.

BMP DDB, today named Campaign’s agency of the year for 1998, has

announced that Chris Powell, who has been chief executive since 1986, is

to take a more backseat role as chairman.



The move signals the ushering in of a new management era and is an

acknowledgment of Powell’s interests outside advertising and his

decreasing role in the day-to-day running of the agency.



James Best, who was last year made president of DDB Northern Europe, has

been given the title of group chairman in the UK, reflecting his

increasing commitments outside the London agency.



The move endorses the contributions of Chris Cowpe and Ross Barr, BMP’s

joint managing directors, who take most of the direct management

responsibility at the agency. Powell said: ’It is a retrospective thing.

Nothing is changing but I was embarrassed to hold the title of chief

executive when other people were running the agency. We are just tidying

up.’



Outside advertising, Powell’s interests include charities, education and

the arts. He is also on the board of United Newspapers and deputy

chairman of the Health Trust. He was heavily involved in the Labour

Party’s election campaign in 1997 and is part of the Millennium

Marketing Forum.



Powell, 59, started his advertising career as an account manager at Ted

Bates. He spent two years at Wasey Campbell Ewald before joining BMP in

1969, six months after it was founded. He was appointed to the board in

1972 and became managing director in 1975. In 1993, he took on the

two-year presidency of the IPA.



Best commented: ’Chris (Powell) has other interests in the outside world

so ’chairman’ is an appropriate title for him. We are recognising

existing reality. This is a steady, Darwinian evolution. It also

underlines that Chris and Ross are essentially our leadership and our

core management team.’



Cowpe joined BMP in 1972, was appointed to the board in 1978 and became

joint head of planning in 1985. He was made joint managing director in

1990 and is closely involved with the Barclaycard account, which BMP

retained last year. Barr also joined BMP in 1972, becoming joint

planning director in 1985 and joint managing director in 1990.



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