If advertising is an important member of the culture industry–and I’d argue it is–Ogilvy is betting on the right sort of man to lead it into the future.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Englishman, Miles Young, will take the helm of the WPP Group agency on January 1. Young, 53, served as head of Ogilvy’s Asia-Pacific business for 13 years.
The executive, who dresses and acts more like an Oxford don than an ad man, is largely an outsider in the New York-centered ad industry. And he says he will try to usher in a less U.S.-centered view of the marketplace. Mr. Young, who has traveled extensively, owns a cinnamon plantation in Sri Lanka and is a major collector of Asian art.
In July, he led a group of academics, businessmen and Chinese and Russian students on an Ogilvy-sponsored train trip to Russia’s Lake Baikal for an academic study of globalization and the environment. Mr. Young assigned participants a five-book reading list.
Given that David Ogilvy founded this legendary firm that bears his name, Young’s style seems an ideal fit.