Chicago Sun-Times
Lewis Lazare follows Chicago media and marketing news

Ogilvy/Chicago needs new leadership

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Everybody who thinks it's time for a regime change at Ogilvy/Chicago, please raise your hand. It no doubt surprised no one in the local ad community to find out that Ogilvy had lost its Oscar Mayer business, which parent Kraft Foods handed to the Chicago shop on a silver platter a couple of years ago. The OM business now is moving to McGarryBowen/New York, which along with its Chicago outpost, is becoming a popular destination for a variety of Kraft brands. The MB Chicago shop just outdid itself with a hip new Miracle Whip campaign.

But this isn't about MB. It's about Ogilvy/Chicago and the very unsavvy way that shop has been run in recent years by Joe Sciarrotta and Jack Rooney, two executives who seem to have an extreme fear of stepping into the spotlight. Maybe it's just because they're shy. Or more likely, it's because they're afraid the limelight would expose what a shabby job they've done of running the joint. Does anyone out there really have any idea what Ogilvy/Chicago is up to? Does anybody out there even care? More importantly, do Sciarrotta and Rooney really want their shop to grow and thrive? They certainly have given us no indication that is what they want.

It has been apparent for some time that their game plan was pretty much like that of the sorry management team of the about-to-die JWT/Chicago. In other words, let the whole thing sink into the muck and mire due to inertia and neglect. One wonders what Ogilvy brass in New York think about the sad situation here in the Chicago office? If they're thinking at all about it. Certainly they've got enough problems to deal with in the New York flagship office, which is plagued by the same issues evident in Chicago -- only on a bigger scale.

Rooney and Sciarrotta have had their chance -- and then some -- to make Ogilvy/Chicago a happening place once more. They haven't gotten the job done. It's time for a change.

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Lewis Lazare has written the Media Mix column for the Chicago Sun-Times for the past seven and a half years.

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This page contains a single entry by Lewis Lazare published on May 27, 2009 11:19 AM.

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