WPP ready to replace Fudge as head of Young & Rubicam
LONDON - WPP Group is set to replace Ann Fudge, the head of agency Young & Rubicam and chairman and chief executive of its parent Y&R Brands, as head of the agency, which lost Jaguar's $100m (£53.1m) creative account in February.
In an interview with Business Week, Fudge said that she and WPP were looking for someone to replace her as head of the agency, but she would remain in charge of Y&R Brands.
As well as the eponymous ad agency, Y&R Brands also houses PR agency Burson-Marsteller, branding agency Landor Associates and direct marketing agency Wunderman.
Fudge's position has looked increasingly untenable since Y&R's early elimination from the $100m review for Ford-owned marque Jaguar. The loss compounded the effects of previous client defections, which have seen Sony Electronics, Computer Associates, Kraft Foods and Burger King all leave the agency.
A former president of Kraft Foods, Fudge was lured out of early retirement in May 2003 by Sir Martin Sorrell to restore direction to what was then Young & Rubicam Inc.
According to Business Week, Ford bosses were unimpressed when Fudge arranged to miss the first meeting in the Jaguar review, which rival agency heads attended.
Business Week also quoted two senior WPP executives as saying that Fudge's removal from Young & Rubicam was the prologue to her leaving the group.
In another reverse for Y&R Brands, William Eccleshare, the chairman and chief executive of Y&R/Wunderman EMEA, resigned on Tuesday to head Omnicom's BBDO Worldwide EMEA network.
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