Friday, June 8, 2007

Cool executive move of the week: Rutherford to Digitas

You gotta hand it to Digitas. First, the agency holding company sells out for the big bucks to Publicis, and then it actually hires a guy from Unilever to come on board as global CEO, announcing yesterday that Alan Rutherford, vp/global media at Unilever, will take the job. Holding company client Procter & Gamble must be happy, happy, happy. And you gotta hand it to Publicis, too. I had always wondered how parts of the holding company, like Saatchi, and Kaplan Thaler Group, had managed to slide through the last ten years with little digital expertise to their names. Frankly, it seemed unfathomable—standing on the sidelines in the middle of the revolution? The best thing Publicis had going for it in the interactive arena was Rishad Tobaccowala, but one extremely talented interactive executive (and his cadre) does not a digital strategy make. Omnicom has long had interactive street cred in owning all or parts of, Critical Mass, Organic and Tribal DDB. WPP had OgilvyInteractive. And Interpublic, for all its difficulties, could claim what could be considered the industry's crown jewel: R/GA. Now, Publicis has more than joined the club, and, yeah, it was worth the $1.3 billion.

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