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
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
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.