2002 Rating: 3 stars
Management, rather than account, matters dominated Grey news in 2003. Following reports of Interpublic Group of Cos. wooing Steve Blamer, head of Grey Global Group's largest individual component, Grey Worldwide, New York, to run one of its agency networks, Grey elevated Mr. Blamer in November to the new post of president-CEO at Grey Worldwide, North America. Grey Global Group Chairman Ed Meyer, now 76, remains mum on his successor, but the move to retain the popular 47-year-old rising star has Mr. Blamer sitting pretty to assume more responsibility when necessary.
Grey was a steady performer with one resignation (ConAgra's Healthy Choice creative account) and no big losses. The coup for the year: Kmart Corp., won via collaboration of Grey companies and independent Carol H. Williams Advertising, Oakland, Calif. Creative efforts for Procter & Gamble Co.'s Pringles and Pantene brands; Diageo's Crown Royal; Masterfoods USA's Starburst; and Frontier Airlines were clean and memorable. New Kmart ads have pizzazz.
Expect Mr. Blamer to name a long-sought-after creative partner and eventual successor to Steve Novick, Grey Global chief creative officer. Also look for more cooperative approaches for new business across Grey's North American offices with Mr. Blamer at the helm.