2001 Rating: 2 stars
Change at an agency network as large as J. Walter Thompson occurs slowly. But Bob Jeffrey, dubbed president of J. Walter Thompson North America in May 2001, is making his mark. New executive creative directors, for instance, were named in the Chicago, San Francisco, Atlanta, Houston and Detroit offices in 2002. In new business, the agency landed Reckitt Benckiser, a $215 million global account run out of New York and London, and Domino's Pizza out of New York and Detroit. Net new billings totaled $235 million. Losses were limited to Bermuda Tourism and Qwest Communications, but the agency's hold on several key accounts has loosened (Miller Brewing Co.'s Miller Genuine Draft, run out of Chicago, is one). After a review, JWT San Francisco hung onto Sun Microsystems. Mr. Jeffrey boosted the agency's units in entertainment and event-based marketing, hiring Steve Flanders as president, Icon Entertainment@JWT, replacing Marina Hahn. JWT will work closely in 2003 with its Detroit-based Brand Entertainment Group, which in 2002 won an assignment to create entertainment franchises for all Ford Motor Co. brands.
Expect change at the top levels of JWT as parent WPP Group seeks to bring in leadership capable of winning global clients interested in campaigns created through all media.