AccessMyLibrary provides FREE access to millions of articles from top publications available through your library.
INTERNATIONAL PRESIDENT, FCB WORLDWIDE
The merger last year of FCB and Bozell presented yet another challenge to one of the most experienced agency network bosses around. As a result, Harry Reid, who was already FCB's international chief and one of the architects of its growing European network, became the international president of the newly created entity, FCB Worldwide. He's in charge of everything outside the US -- and although he's been able to maintain a vigorous acquisition policy, there are still weak links in the network.
Despite the merger, which made it the fifth largest advertising network in the world, FCB Worldwide's status is dependent on its position in the US market, where it is number one. In Europe, for instance, it's in the top ten in only two markets: Germany and Spain. So acquisitions continue to be a priority, not just in the core ad agency field but also in below-the-line sectors, as the group seeks to enhance its positioning as a total communications outfit.
The brief is doubly challenging in that the parent company is desperately sensitive about its share price (which has been through periods of worrying under-performance) and will seek a rigorous balance sheet rationale to any mooted purchase.
Reid has to prove himself ruthless (cutting costs while delivering growth), diplomatic (handling the political infighting that causes growing pains) and, well, just downright inspired. He's already handled some tricky politics in London when Delaney Fletcher declined to join forces with Banks Hoggins O'Shea. And no-one doubts his ruthlessness -- it didn't take him long, for instance, to oust FCB's European chairman, Tony Douglas, after the merger last year.
But perhaps the virtue Reid will need most of all is patience. One thing's for …