Charlotte Beers at Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide.

Topics: WPP Group, Ogilvy & Mather, Advertising Pages: 7 (2374 words) Published: November 19, 2003
Ogilvy & Mather first rose to prominence in 1950 with its eye-patched "Hathaway Man," an advertising tool for dress shirts that ran for the next 25 years. Ogilvy's other initial ads were for Rolls-Royce and Schweppes. Founder David Ogilvy believed that effective advertising created an indelible image of the product in consumers' minds and that campaigns should always be intelligent, stylish and "first class". David Ogilvy became an industry legend -- his book, Ogilvy on Advertising, became an advertising textbook -- and under his leadership the agency became one of the stars of the advertising world. Ogilvy eventually merged with its former parent company, the British group Mather & Crowther. Over time, Ogilvy came to pride itself as "the most local of the internationals, the most international of the locals". The Ogilvy offices represented four core disciplines: sales promotion, public relations, advertising and direct marketing.

In 1988, Ogilvy was ranked the sixth-largest advertising firm in the world. Because of the stock market crash in 1987, O&M suffered a huge blow in the advertising market because it was too slow to make adjustments. In 1989, WPP Group Plc, a leading marketing services company, acquired Ogilvy and Mather for $864 million. By 1991, Ogilvy had 270 offices in four regions. By this time, Ogilvy was taking huge losses and was losing clients regularly. In 1992, WPP brought in Charlotte Beers as CEO.

Charlotte Beers' aim as the CEO

Charlotte Beers grew up in Texas, where she began her career as a research analyst for Mars Company. She then moved to Chicago as an account executive with J. Walter Thompson (pg. 5). After cultivating success, she rose quickly to senior vice president for Client Services. Beers was known for her passionate interest in the philosophy of marketing. In 1979, Beers became the COO of the Chicago agency Tatham-Laird & Kudner. In 1992, Beers was brought in as CEO of Ogilvy. At that time, the company was perceived as indifferent and disconnected from consumers. Beers interacted with the company's clients to know and judge the position of the company in the market. She came to the conclusion that the company's vast assets should be activated as the clients had lost the image of these impressive assets. She also figured out that the assents did not generate any confidence in the clients as the assets did not tell the clients why they would work. She focused her attention on the quality of Ogilvy's advertising. During this time all the departments - Creative, Account, Media and Research - were working as separate entities. The company was disintegrating because of the change in the market scenario.

The main objective of Beers was to restore confidence internally and externally. She wanted to bring all the employees of the company back together and knit them together. She believed that clients wanted an agency that understood the complexity of managing the emotional as well as the logical relationship between a consumer and a product. She became confident that she knew what the clients wanted and what Ogilvy's strengths were. She was totally focused on building brands and attracting clients for the company. She had identified a group of "thirsty for change" people. At the advertising company Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide, the charismatic and creative executive, Charlotte Beers, tried to develop a new vision built on the concept of Brand Stewardship. In order to do this she held big meetings where she invited a group of top executives heading regions or key offices. The stated purpose of one of these meetings was to get a final agreement on the vision of the company and where Brand Stewardship would fit in. In the meetings, Beers decided on three strategies - Client security, better work, more often and financial discipline. This was apparently a participatory, democratic/political group-decision procedure where the outcome was supposed to be the best combination of everyone's...
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