Droga moved to New York in July 2003 from London, where he reinvigorated the Saatchi & Saatchi office, which was named Agency of the Year at Cannes in 2002. During his tenure at Publicis, he boosted the network’s creative reputation, creating an 18-person worldwide creative board and populating the creative ranks with high profile performers from around the world, including Olivier Altmann, now at Publicis Conseil Paris, Nik Studzinski, now leading Publicis in London and Howard Willmott and Duncan Marshall who joined Publicis/New York from Saatchi London. His efforts were reflected in Publicis’ performance on the awards circuit. The network has finished in the top ten in The Creativity Awards Report –a tally of the top global ad awards – for the past two years, and won more Cannes Lions in the last two years than in the previous decade.
Droga will leave the WW CD job over the next few weeks. No announcements have been made regarding succession plans.
The departure of the high profile creative director to pursue a venture outside of the traditional advertising mold is symbolic of the changes sweeping the industry now, as some of the best and brightest look to new marketing initiatives that engage consumers on their own terms and through multiple channels. The move also prompts the larger question: Can even the most dedicated and credentialed creative affect the kind of change necessary for agencies within the network agency model as it currently exists?
Droga had certainly moved the creative needle at Publicis and during his tenure the agency has enjoyed some significant business milestones – the recent win of the Coca Cola Vault assignment among them. But, as more marketers look to a range of new creative partners, it will remain to be seen whether creative agencies can be retrofitted to accommodate new marketing realities, or if starting a new- model business is the only way to really offer meaningful new creative solutions. (TI)