Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Hamish and Sir Martin

The agency I work for is Y&R. And the worldwide CEO of Y&R is Hamish McLennan, who is based in New York City.

Y&R is one of several agencies owned by the parent company called WPP. And the worldwide CEO of WPP is Sir Martin Sorrell, who is based in London. 

At Y&R Chicago, Hamish McLennan was always referred to. "Hamish is asking us to do this." "So-and-so's flying out to meet Hamish." "Hamish is coming to meet with the client." Everyone knew who Sir Martin was, but only as the first and biggest picture in WPP's annual report.

In Geneva, however, it's the exact opposite. References to Sir Martin are made almost daily, and on a much more personal level. Hamish McLennan came to visit our office this summer. And that's probably the last time I heard his name.

It's interesting to me, because I think it's a simple matter of geography. Sir Martin feels more accessible to the Europeans. And Hamish (even though he's Australian) has easy access to peanut butter, root beer, and Domino's Pizza.

I wonder who gets more references in the Asian offices.

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