Ogilvy & mather racked up significant new business wins from existing clients in 1997, and a big new account with the $100 million assignment from GTE Corp. Ogilvy was also on the winning side of nearly a $50 million consolidation by Eastman Kodak Co., marking the client's end of a 67-year relationship with WPP Group sibling shop J. Walter Thompson Co.
Creatively, O&M scored with American Express work featuring comedian Jerry Seinfeld and a series of spots knocking rival Visa.
But, campaigns for GTE and Ford Motor Co. were bogged down in delays, pushing break dates back from fall 1997 to early 1998. O&M's creative ranks also saw the departure of Exec VP Bill Hamilton, who officially took a leave of absence, leaving Rick Boyko as sole creative head and ultimately co-president of O&M New York with Bill Gray.
While GTE is rumored to remain a trouble spot, the turnaround of IBM Corp. is in part credited to O&M's work which has consistently improved since the reunion by Steve Hayden, president of worldwide brand services on IBM, of his classic Apple creative team Chris Wall, Susan Westre and director Joe Pytka.