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JWT's Jones prepares for his new role as CEO

By Published on .

As he prepares to take the CEO reins from J. Walter Thompson Co. Chairman Burt Manning, current Co-President Chris Jones said his top priorities will be enhancing the agency's creative and total-communication efforts.

Mr. Jones, 41, as expected, last week was named CEO, effective in January. Mr. Manning, 65, retains the chairmanship.

TOTAL BRANDING PROGRAM

Mr. Jones will shepherd JWT's Total Branding program, the agency's effort to counsel clients on all marketing disciplines. The goal of Total Branding is to broaden clients' perspective by encouraging integration of all marketing elements into a single package.

"The world of communication is becoming much more complicated, and this will give us a provable, competitive edge," said Mr. Jones, who added, "We are investing millions of dollars in new research."

"This is a huge initiative to put facts and numbers behind things we know intuitively," Mr. Manning said.

With the stepping aside of Mr. Manning, known for his creative expertise, Mr. Jones also will put additional personal emphasis on the importance of high-quality creative. He's a strong supporter of JWT's 5-month-old program that links senior management compensation--including managers outside of the creative department--to the quality of the shop's creative output.

EYE TOWARD INT'L REP

Mr. Jones added he is looking to enhance the agency's reputation and presence internationally.

"I would like us to be considered leaders--not necessarily the biggest, but the best. On a global basis, we want to be the most desired partner for any client," he said.

In his new role, Mr. Jones will lead a management team that has gone through some recent tinkering. Last month, Helayne Spivak joined JWT as chief creative director-North America and worldwide creative director. In September these executives all added job responsibilities: Peter Schweitzer, co-president with Mr. Jones and global business director for Ford Motor Co.; Ron Burns, global business president; Miles Colebrook, group president, JWT International; and Michael Madel, president of JWT Europe.

Copyright November 1996, Crain Communications Inc.

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