Dominic Proctor, Chief executive officer

Report by Dominic Proctor (above)
Chief executive officer

2008 was a year of much change for Mindshare. After 10 years of excellent growth we felt it was time to restructure the agency to prepare for the next 10 years, to bring in new talent in order to populate that restructure and to refresh our branding to signal these changes. Our ambition is still to lead the market and be our clients’ lead business partners, so we must prepare for the future.

Of course, when we announced the restructure we could not have predicted the financial crisis which was to swamp the world later in 2008 but this new economic reality only emphasised the need for change. We simplified our business by converting more than a dozen specialist units into just four groups: Client Leadership, the first point of contact with our clients; Business Planning, which provides the insight and data to fuel a client’s campaign; Invention, the creative thinking hub of the agency and The Exchange; our new trading and activation arm. The Exchange works closely with GroupM’s trading resources, thus giving our clients unique access to the foremost media inventory in all markets. So the new structure is simpler and integrated, which is what our clients told us they want.

It is worth noting that Digital is now firmly embedded in all the business. It is remarkable to think that when we launched 11 years ago Google was yet to be born. Since then everything has changed!

Beyond restructuring we strengthened our talent pool by bringing in people from more diverse backgrounds. We recruited them from clients, from content creators, from consultancies, from sports marketing as well as from other agencies. We also brought in the trailblazing communications planning agency, Michaelides & Bednash, to lead the growth of our new Invention group. This agency has won many accolades and is widely credited with ‘inventing’ Communications Planning. It has just been voted ‘Media Boutique of the Year’ in the US.

open quoteIt is remarkable to think that when we launched 11 years
ago Google was yet to be born. Since then everything has changed!close quote

In fact 2008 was a very good year for awards overall for Mindshare, too many to list here but including many for our content initiatives. For example, taking Ugly Betty to China with Unilever and boosting the Ford Ka in the latest Bond film, Quantum of Solace. An example of how the world has changed is that In the Motherhood started as a web series and has now been commissioned by ABC for a primetime run.

Our network was behind the Grand Prix winner at Cannes, for AMF Pensions, and the top prize at Venice for Nike. Beyond that, several of our markets won their own national Agency of the Year competitions and we have just been announced as Global Agency of the Year by Advertising Age. A great achievement.

A chaotic world where evolving technology, consequent audience shifts and financial crisis makes life difficult for our clients. Our job is to help navigate them through all this chaos and we feel that we are very well positioned to do just that.