Grey's chairman, Roger Edwards, played down speculation this week
that the agency's drive for a strong local creative profile would peter
out under a new six-member committee set up to replace the outgoing
managing director, Nigel Sharrocks.
Edwards admitted that replacing Sharrocks, a champion of creativity at
the agency, would take several months, and said the committee would help
him combine the roles of chairman and managing director. However, he
denied it would have an account handling bias, although five members are
from account handling or operations while only one is from the creative
'The ship is still moving in very much the same direction as before,'
Edwards said. 'You should not put any special interpretation on the way
the committee is set up: Paul (Smith, the executive creative director)
will get five votes if necessary.'
Edwards said he had already scoured London's top 30 agencies for a
replacement for Sharrocks, and would now widen the search abroad and
into smaller shops. However, internal sources suggested the new
committee might also serve to test the mettle of those left behind
should the vacancy ultimately have to be filled internally.
As well as Smith, there are four executive client services directors on
the committee - Barry Cox, Jayne Barr, Steve Richards and Neil Jenner -
plus the operations director, Chris Loizides.
Edwards has set up a parallel board to help him oversee the
international activities of the agency. This comprises the heads of key
international accounts - Clive Holland (BAT), Frank Cockman (SmithKline
Beecham), Mike Hemingway (Mars), Carolyn Carter (Mars Pedigree), Rebecca
Higgins (Procter & Gamble) and Tom Holmes (Worldspace).
Two of Sharrocks' top hirings - the agency's planning director, Peter
Field, and Mark Cunningham, a senior account handler - have announced