Omnicom ad agency DDB names new global and North American CEOs, signaling a bigger focus on data and performance marketing
DDB Worldwide has named Marty O'Halloran as its new global CEO and Justin Thomas-Copeland as its North America chief executive officer. O'Halloran most recently was chairman and CEO of the Omnicom agency's Australia and New Zealand division, while Thomas-Copeland was global CEO of OPMG Health. Forrester analyst Jay Pattisall said that DDB's new leadership signaled Omnicom's aim to use consumer data to better inform email-based customer relationship marketing campaigns. Thomas-Copeland is the network's first Black CEO, and his appointment comes as the ad industry is confronting the subject of racism and its record on diversity and inclusion. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
DDB Worldwide, one of the largest agency networks within ad holding company Omnicom, has named 34-year veteran Marty O'Halloran as global CEO and Justin Thomas-Copeland as North American chief executive officer, effective immediately. Both are internal picks. O'Halloran started as an account director working on the McDonald's business and served as chairman and CEO of DDB Australia and New Zealand for the past 15 years. Thomas-Copeland was most recently global CEO of OPMG Health, the pharma and healthcare division of Omnicom's precision marketing group. The changes come on the heels of DDB's former global CEO Wendy Clark leaving to become global CEO of rival holding group Dentsu Aegis Network in April. Her responsibilities had been handled on an interim basis by DDB chairman Chuck Brymer. The news was relayed to employees in a companywide email on Wednesday morning. The new executives led two of Omnicom's most successful divisions Brymer said O'Halloran expanded DDB's influence in the Australia/New Zealand region, where he won industry awards and new work from clients like Kmart and LinkedIn during the coronavirus pandemic. He praised Thomas-Copeland's work on precision marketing, the use of consumer data to inform email-based customer relationship marketing campaigns. DDB clients include Volkswagen, McDonald's, Unilever, Mars, and Johnson & Johnson. "At Omnicom, we place considerable emphasis on succession planning, which is why we continually invest in our talent," read a statement from company chairman and CEO John Wren. "Marty and Justin are well known within Omnicom as transformative leaders with unique insight into creating successful global brand experiences." The appointments indicate a shift toward data-driven marketing Forrester ad industry analyst Jay Pattisall said the new appointments signified Omnicom's desire to combine creative and data in campaigns. He compared the moves to WPP's decision to merge data marketing firm Wunderman and creative agency J. Walter Thompson to create Wunderman Thompson in 2018. "It's an interesting signal on what Omnicom leadership sees in DDB's future," Pattisall said. "Appointing its most trusted operators — including the engine of its precision-marketing function — to lead DDB suggests that precision-marketing will play a bigger role with DDB creativity." Thomas-Copeland is also the network's first Black CEO, and his appointment comes amid growing conversations around tackling racism and promoting diversity and inclusion in the industry. Omnicom was among the ad holding companies that addressed employee concerns about growing racial tensions in the US after George Floyd's killing. "Clearly, Omnicom recognizes that the industry is watching who they appoint to leadership positions at this point," Pattisall said. "So the optics are convenient."SEE ALSO: Meet the 31 executives leading Omnicom, the world's most valuable advertising network, during a global pandemic and recession Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: A cleaning expert reveals her 3-step method for cleaning your entire home quickly
More like this (3)
29 Publicis execs who are leading the ad giant through the pandemic and taking on rivals WPP and Omnicom
Summary List PlacementPublicis is one of the oldest and biggest marketing businesses in the world. Founded...Summary List PlacementPublicis is one of the oldest and biggest marketing businesses in the world. Founded as an ad agency in 1926 by 20-year-old Parisian Marcel Bleustein-Blanchet, it grew to become a top global firm after World War II, thanks to its close ties to the French government. Publicis agencies created classic campaigns like "You're in good hands with Allstate," "Labour isn't working," and...
Sources said Rolex would create an in-house ad agency and move its business away from ad holding company giant WPP after nearly 75 years
Summary List Placement Rolex is taking its advertising in house after having ad holding company WPP...Summary List Placement Rolex is taking its advertising in house after having ad holding company WPP handle the business for 74 years, according to people with knowledge of the matter. They said Rolex is building a custom creative agency in Europe, which means WPP will eventually lose most or all of the business, which one source estimated brings around $30 million in revenue a...
FleishmanHillard is pushing into advertising services, and it shows how public relations firms are encroaching on ad agencies
Summary List Placement Early in the pandemic, FleishmanHillard laid off 60 employees and cut staff pay...Summary List Placement Early in the pandemic, FleishmanHillard laid off 60 employees and cut staff pay in anticipation of steep pullbacks in spend from clients. Since then, the fourth-largest PR firm by revenue has restored those cuts and it now forecasts winning more than $160 million in new business, keeping new business flat with last year. Wins came from companies like Advance Auto Parts,...