Industry observers expected a holding company to gobble up Grey, but the agency had its own plans for changes at the top.
Grey Advertising, New York, altered its name to Grey Global Group and the core advertising agency became Grey Worldwide.
The shift cleared the way for Grey London's CEO Steve Blamer to become president of Grey Worldwide, New York. Additionally, Dailey & Associates Exec VP John Crosson was named president and chief creative officer of the Los Angeles division, while former President and Managing Director of the San Francisco office Kieran Hannon moved to president-chief operating officer there.
The agency united its creative leaders into a Global Creative Council. Top work in the U.S. remained largely unremarkable: For example, monkeys snapped pictures of each other to demonstrate the ease of using a Canon camera. More attention-getting was a global integrated campaign for new client Twix, in which celebrity musicians with diverse styles chanted about the M&M/Mars candy bar's ingredients.
In addition to Twix, Grey won new business from American Home Products Corp., Unisys, American Plastics Council, Renaissance Cruises, New World Pasta, PMC Sierra, NorthPoint Communications and several dot-coms. Hasbro, Jockey Inter-
national and Kohler Co. left the agency.
According to Advertising Age calculations, based on Grey's report that it boosted billings in 2000 by 12.4%, the agency had a net increase of about $426 million, giving it total U.S. billings in 2000 of about $4 billion.
Count on Wall Street to keep its merger watch focused on closely held Grey, be it as a takeover target or as the acquirer of more marketing services companies.
Also, look for Grey President-CEO Ed Meyer to name a head of the agency's North America operations this year.
Last year's rating: 1