Ogilvy creates new head of media role but insists it is not building out a media offering

Creative agency Ogilvy has poached independent media agency TMS’s chief operating officer (COO) Saurin Worthington to be its new head of media.

Green, Worthington, Fox:

(LtoR): Green, Worthington, Fox. Worthington: “This is not a new media offering – media was treated appallingly in full service”

However, the media buying executive who was, up until recently, running the Lexus account, insists Ogilvy is not about follow the likes of creative agency McCann and launch its own media buying offering. 

“There have been a couple of announcements about media people going into creative agency but this is very different,” Worthington said, explaining to Mumbrella that her role would be around driving collaboration.

“I’m not going to be a one man media department or setting a media department up. That’s not what I’m here to do. The short-term objective is to better inform the creative product.” 

Worthington also notes that Ogilvy already has some digital media buying in-house through NEO@Ogilvy, which is run by Minsun Collier.

“They already have NEO@Ogilvy of course,” she said. “Minsun Collier remains at the head of that. It’s a great little business and they are doing media here now, framed as performance here.

“There are some 22 people that work there and that is predominantly digital, search and display but clients are asking more and more to behave offline as well.”

Worthington explains new role is to drive collaboration within the creative agency and externally.

“Primarily I’m here to work with Derek (Green) our ECD and to help him,” she said. “Creative agencies, I would say, are under a lot of pressure to get that idea right but they focus so much on that that they produce just standard assets and only then turn to the media agency and say ‘okay media agency help us put them somewhere’.

“Of course, media agencies don’t want to be told where to put stuff. My role will be to help him think about some context and behavioural stuff upfront and then working with the creative agency.

“Too often there are too many agencies, too many strategies and things are made too complicated.”

“This is a great opportunity. It’s a job description written perfectly for me,” says Worthington, citing her experience dating back to when Leo Burnett’s was a full service agency.

“I started at Leo Burnett’s when it was full service,” she said.  “This is not full service and it will never be back to full service – because media was treated appallingly in full service.

“Ogilvy has rich resources with their geometry, their shopper insights there are so many bits and pieces and I just want media to have a seat around every discussion. I will be a facilitator more than anything.”

Asked about her decision to leave TMS and whether it was influenced by the expected pitch for media Worthington insisted it had not.

“It was a wonderful experience,” she said. I was very lucky to work with (TMS CEO) Chris Mort and I learnt a lot from him. I loved Lexus and Lexus love TMS and Toyota love TMS.

“Regardless of the bigger decisions made by people out of our control the relationship there is exceptionally good.”

“This opportunity came along and it was a tough decision but it was just the right decision that allows me to step up to a bigger role in the wider playground. It’s right for me for this time and I have something to offer Ogilvy.”

Nic Christensen   


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