Dentsu McGarrybowen rocked by restructuring
In the latest seismic holding company shakeup, Dentsu International is slashing its agency brands from 160 to just six. And one shop getting swept up in the changes, set for February, is Dentsu McGarrybowen, as two top executives—Dentsu Mcgarrybowen Global Chief Creative Officer Ned Crowley and Global and U.S. Chief Strategy Officer Jennifer Zimmerman—move to "consulting" roles.
"As part of this reorganization, roles are changing and while Ned and Jen were offered roles within the new structure, each has decided to work with us in a different way," the company said in a statement. "As our creative service line leverages an AOR-on-demand model, they have agreed that a portion of their time next year will go to consulting for Dentsu on key clients and opportunities."
Dentsu Group, the Japanese parent of Dentsu International, has 300 agencies. Dentsu Group reported today a 14.8% slip in organic revenue for the third quarter. Dentsu International, of which McGarrybowen is a part, suffered a 14.6% decline in organic sales for the quarter.
"The review is aimed at simplifying the business, permanently reducing operating costs and enhancing the efficiency of the balance sheet," commented Toshihiro Yamamoto, president and CEO of Dentsu Group. "We simply have too many brands, almost 300 across both Japan and internationally."
It is unclear what other changes may await Dentsu Mcgarrybowen, or other shops within the Dentsu International network. In September, Wendy Clark, former DDB Worldwide global CEO, stepped into the role of global CEO of the international agency business and has yet to publicly unveil her plans.
Both Crowley and Zimmerman have been with Mcgarrybowen—which was repositioned in May into a new network, Dentsu Mcgarrybowen, which also houses several creative, content, design and experience shops such as Isobar and John Brown—since its early days.
Gordon Bowen co-founded the shop in 2002, alongside Young & Rubicam's former President John McGarry and Chief Strategy Officer Stewart Owen. Bowen was appointed to the executive team of Dentsu International last year as chief creative officer.
Zimmerman joined Mcgarrybowen from Y&R one year after its founding, in 2003, as an integral part of the leadership team and has been serving as both the U.S. and global chief strategy officer for the shop. Following the initial restructuring into Dentsu Mcgarrybowen, Zimmerman retained her role as chief strategy officer of the new network.
Crowley came to Mcgarrybowen from Leo Burnett in 2007 to build the agency's Chicago office into a now 200-person shop. In 2015, he was elevated to U.S. chief creative officer. He then rose to global chief creative officer, a title he retained across Dentsu Mcgarrybowen.
Dentsu has seen a whirlwind of change over the past year as it pushes toward becoming "One Dentsu"—a strategy that has been led by Tim Andree, executive chairman of Dentsu Aegis Network, and feels similar to Publicis Groupe's "Power of One" model. That strategy saw the creation of three lines of businesses last year: creative, customer relationship management and media. Within creative is now Dentsu Mcgarrybowen and Isobar; within CRM is Merkle and 360i; and within media is Carat and iProspect.
In September, Dentsu Aegis Network announced it would be going forward as simply Dentsu.