Ogilvy Realigns 'Activation Services' Shops

OgilvyAction Will Be Run by Rick Roth

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CHICAGO (AdAge.com) -- WPP Group's Ogilvy Group is the latest major agency group to realign its so-called activation services in hopes of better serving its clients.
OgilvyAction is a 1,000-employee hybrid of agencies within Ogilvy Group, including 141 Worldwide.
OgilvyAction is a 1,000-employee hybrid of agencies within Ogilvy Group, including 141 Worldwide.

The resulting entity, OgilvyAction, is a 36-country, 1,000-employee hybrid of branding-and-behavior specialist 141 Worldwide (which in some non-U.S. markets will remain distinct from OgilvyAction), promotional shop BEN Marketing, 141XM (digital), 141Premiere (sports and entertainment), 141Boomerang (field-marketing), and Red (retail design), as well as Ogilvy's shopper and trade-marketing teams.

More seats at table
"We've always promised our clients a media–neutral solution, but all of these functions have always been scattered about," said 25-year Ogilvy veteran Rick Roth, OgilvyAction's CEO. "It's gotten better, but if we're going to be honest, we need all of these functions to have a seat at the table.

"Having one person who owns the relationship decide who should be deployed just doesn't work."

Mr. Roth, who most recently was CEO of 141 Worldwide, stressed that although these services are being brought under the Ogilvy brand, they are not being absorbed by creative agency Ogilvy & Mather in the same way that Publicis Groupe siblings Leo Burnett and Arc were recently brought together under common executive leadership.

"We're keeping these distinct for a reason," he said. "We have no expectation and no plan to allow these services to just dissolve in to Ogilvy."

Six North American offices
OgilvyAction is based in New York, and also has North American offices in Chicago, Atlanta, Stamford, Conn., Honolulu and Toronto. Jay Farrell, former North American CE0 for 141 Worldwide, will be the CEO of OgilvyAction North America.

In a statement, Ogilvy & Mather CEO Shelly Lazarus said: "With activation becoming an increasing need among our clients globally, it just makes sense to bring this important business closer to the Ogilvy brand."
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