Power Players 2007: 1 - 5

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1 JAMES
STENGEL
GLOBAL MARKETING OFFICER
PROCTER & GAMBLE CO.
AD BUDGET:
$4.90 BILLION
AGENCIES INLCUDE:
  • Havas' Arnold Worldwide, Boston
  • Omnicom Group's BBDO Worldwide, New York
  • Publicis Groupe's Arc Worldwide, Chicago; Leo Burnett Worldwide, Chicago and Puerto Rico; Kaplan Thaler Group, Publicis USA and Saatchi & Saatchi, N.Y.
  • WPP Group's Grey Worldwide, N.Y.
  • Wieden & Kennedy, Portland, Ore.
  • POWER PLAY:
    Among the Power Players, James Stengel, 52, is the $8 billion man. That's the threshold P&G has crossed in global ad spending as it's neared the $80 billion mark in global sales. P&G officially won the decades-long U.S. laundry war as Unilever put its laundry business up for sale. And other key brands such as Olay, Crest, Always, Pampers and Bounty have fared well. P&G even won a creative Grand Prix at Cannes -- in print. And Clairol is mounting a successful reversal.
    DOWNSIDE:
    For all its considerable talk of new-age marketing, P&G remains the primary beneficiary of a threatened old-media model where it enjoys the biggest spending edge of any marketer over rivals. At some point, leadership means your own people actually follow, and P&G spends proportionally less online or in other alternative media than some key rivals.
    2 CATHERINE M.
    COUGHLIN
    SENIOR EXEC VP-GLOBAL MARKETING OFFICER
    AT&T
    AD BUDGET:
    $3.35 BILLION
    AGENCIES INLCUDE:
  • Omnicom's BBDO, Atlanta and N.Y.; GSD&M, Austin, Texas; OMD Worldwide, Atlanta
  • Publicis' Digitas, Boston
  • WPP's Mediaedge:cia, N.Y.
  • Avenue A/ Razorfish, Chicago and Seattle
  • POWER PLAY:
    Catherine M. Coughlin, 50, who was named global marketing officer last spring, has the task of running with the legacy of former CEO Ed Whitacre -- the new-millennium Ma Bell, one with a strong bundled package of offerings and in prime condition to do battle with cable companies. The iPhone launch brought a modicum of cool to your grandfather's telecom brand. AT&T's new era also includes the possibility it will become a media company, selling ads on its properties. The AT&T brand is poised to once again reign as a global powerhouse.
    DOWNSIDE:
    AT&T's exclusive multiyear deal with Steve Jobs and Apple's iPhone made it the telecom to be envied until Mr. Jobs chopped the price by a third and caught flak from early adopters. AT&T faces the challenge of growing subscribers in a bare-knuckled, zero-sum game amid questions about quality of service. AT&T has even trimmed its "fewest dropped calls" claim, a boast that's said to have brought complaints from Verizon Wireless and skepticism from Consumer Reports.
    3 MARK
    LANEVE
    VP-SALES, SERVICE AND MARKETING, NORTH AMERICA
    GENERAL MOTORS CORP.
    AD BUDGET:
    $3.30 BILLION
    AGENCIES INLCUDE:
  • Interpublic Group of Cos.' Campbell-Ewald, Warren, Mich.; Deutsch, Los Angeles; McCann Erickson, Birmingham, Mich.; Mullen, Wenham, Mass.
  • Publicis' Leo Burnett Detroit, Troy, Mich.; GM Planworks, Detroit; Digitas, Boston
  • Modernista, Boston
  • POWER PLAY:
    Mark LaNeve, 48, has shuffled major ad accounts including Cadillac, Saturn, Buick, Saab, GMC and GM corporate. GM confirmed in late summer it would drop its major sponsorship of the U.S. Olympic Committee and NBC Universal after 2008 in favor of more fully integrated programs that can be executed more often than every two years. Mr. LaNeve is readying a major launch of the new Chevrolet Malibu in the super-competitive midsize-sedan segment and is spending an estimated $60 million to launch the redone Cadillac CTS sedan.
    DOWNSIDE:
    GM is trying to maintain the strides it's making toward getting its North American operations out of the red. While Mr. LaNeve touted double-digit declines in the less-profitable daily rental sales through August, he still has the tough tasks of wooing non-GM owners and convincing former GM owners it's time to try one of its brands again.
    4 JOHN
    STRATTON
    EXEC VP-CHIEF MARKETING OFFICER
    VERIZON COMMUNICATIONS
    AD BUDGET:
    $2.82 BILLION
    AGENCIES INLCUDE:
  • Interpublic's McCann Erickson, R/GA and Universal McCann Worldwide, N.Y.
  • Publicis' Verizon Media at Zenith, N.Y.
  • POWER PLAY:
    John Stratton, 46, was promoted late last year from CMO of Verizon Wireless to the same title over Verizon's three business units: wireless, land line and business to business. He's sticking with the quality strategy embodied in the Test Man icon for Verizon Wireless while adding some innovative tactical moves such as a 30-day return policy and a declining cancellation fee. Verizon's move to compete against the cable giants with its FiOS high-speed fiber network is paying off, with Comcast Corp. acknowledging at an analysts conference that the competition is starting to take a toll.
    DOWNSIDE:
    With even troubled Sprint cleaning up in terms of monthly income from non-talk services such as messaging and entertainment, Mr. Stratton needs to get subscribers to buy into Verizon's entertainment offerings, from Get It Now games to its new MediaFlo phones. He moved swiftly to trim the agency lineup, but he needs to get lead shop McCann to take the Test Man to the next level, analysts say. Meanwhile, merging the tradition-bound landline company and nimble wireless unit appears to be a tougher process than expected.
    5 MARK
    FIELDS
    EXEC VP-PRESIDENT OF THE AMERICAS
    FORD MOTOR CO.
    AD BUDGET:
    $2.58 BILLION
    AGENCIES INLCUDE:
  • WPP's JWT- Team Detroit, Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide, Group M's Ford Motor Media and Mediaedge:cia, Dearborn, Mich.; Y&R-Team Detroit, Dearborn and Irvine, Calif.
  • Avenue A/Razorfish, N.Y.
  • Zubi Advertising Services, Coral Gables, Fla.
  • POWER PLAY:
    Mark Fields, an 18-year veteran of Ford, is readying a big blitz for Sync, new in-vehicle, voice-activated software developed with Microsoft Corp. that could be a game changer for the carmaker. He's led a more confident tone for the Ford brand, including current ads themed "Swap your ride" for a week and "Fusion Challenge" test drives against Toyota's Camry and Honda's Accord. Mr. Fields, 46, recently assumed the direct reports of Francisco Codina, group VP-marketing, sales and service in North America, who announced his Nov. 1 retirement unexpectedly.
    DOWNSIDE:
    Ford is by no means out of the woods yet; its sales slid by more than 20% last month. Mr. Fields' first brand-saving ad strategy for Ford, the "Bold Moves" bid, was criticized by auto experts as not risky enough, and it's slowly fading. Mr. Fields is also facing a wild card in that his boss, CEO Alan Mulally, is looking for both a CMO and Mr. Codina's successor, two posts Ford said it's looking to fill from both inside and out. Those execs will have to work closely with Mr. Fields.
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