Publicis has signed John Wringe, Cogent’s former group managing
director, to spearhead new business and share control of the agency’s
pounds 20 million Asda business alongside Rick Bendel, the joint chief
The appointment is in line with Bendel’s aim of bringing new business
within the remit of the agency’s most senior management.
It also reflects the growing complexity of the Asda account as the
supermarket chain grows and diversifies its offering by moving more
seriously into clothing retailing.
Wringe, 40, joins Publicis at the end of the month, complementing a
second-tier management team that includes Joanna Baldwin, and Douglas
Thursby-Pelham, the head of client service.
Publicis has lacked a new-business specialist since Mark Robinson quit
as business development director to join J. Walter Thompson (Campaign,
13 December 1996).
’John’s appointment is because we have decided to raise the status of
new business to the top of the agency,’ Bendel said. ’We had to have
somebody who also works on accounts rather than treating new business as
a separate entity.’
Until his resignation in January, Wringe spent his entire agency career
at Cogent, joining the agency as a graduate trainee in 1978 and moving
to London with Paul Simons in 1985 to establish the agency’s office in
Last year, he oversaw the group’s return to its Midlands heartland when
its London operation was seen to be costing too much in time, money and
’It was absolutely the right time to make the switch because my job at
Cogent was done,’ Wringe said. ’Publicis is not only very successful but
has some very nice people.’
The appointment scotches speculation that Publicis was about to set up a
separate retail division.