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Phil Cowdell named Chairman of Mindshare North America

28 July, 2011

Media Agency Veteran Antony Young Joins Mindshare in CEO Role

NEW YORK — Phil Cowdell today was named Chairman of Mindshare North America, a new position for the award-winning GroupM media services agency.

Cowdell, who has served as Mindshare North America’s CEO since May 2009, will be succeeded in that role by Antony Young, a leading and nationally known media agency executive who most recently was CEO of Optimedia in the U.S.

The announcement was made by Mindshare Worldwide CEO Dominic Proctor, who said both appointments are effective in October, when Young joins the agency. Both will report to Proctor.

“This is a great and important day for Mindshare,” Proctor said. “These new appointments represent important steps in a strategy designed to increase Mindshare North America’s role in our agency’s global plans.”

In his new role, Cowdell will focus on evolving and expanding the agency’s North American business so that it plays a larger role on the worldwide media services stage.

“The U.S. is a global powerhouse, and the resources, capabilities, and the talent we have here should not only be delivering excellence in North America, but also providing support to clients and agency teams in other geographies,” Cowdell said. “We also need to ensure that we have the time and capacity available to listen, observe and explore what is happening elsewhere in the world, and to bring these insights and innovations to the U.S. This role will enable me to do both.”

Cowdell said he plans to work with both current and potential clients on driving their multinational businesses. “So many of these clients are global by nature or multi-regional, and our goal is to have broader conversations with them about how Mindshare can better partner with them to help drive the sum of their businesses,” he said.

Cowdell is no stranger to partnering with major clients on global initiatives. Before being named North American CEO, he was one of Mindshare’s top global client leaders, with responsibilities for major multinationals including Ford, Unilever and Kimberly-Clark. .
“Phil is without a doubt the perfect person to handle this new and challenging assignment,” said Proctor. “His background with global clients and his overall knowledge of our entire agency are the ideal qualifications for the job.”

A Mindshare veteran since 2001, Cowdell led the media operation of Team Detroit, the joint-venture between WPP agencies JWT, Young & Rubicam, Ogilvy & Mather, Wunderman, and Mindshare that services the Ford Motor Co., account, from 2006-2008. Before relocating to Detroit, Phil was a Worldwide Managing Partner in London.

Young comes to Mindshare from Optimedia, where he has served as CEO of the company’s U.S. operations since 2006. Coincidentally he and Cowdell both arrived in the U.S. in the summer of 2006, and formerly worked together in Asia. Young previously served as the London-based CEO of Zenith Optimedia U.K.

As CEO of Mindshare North America, Young will be responsible for the management and operation of all Mindshare activities in five U.S. cities and Canada, overseeing an agency with more than 800 employees and an estimated $9.8 billion in billings, according to RECMA.

Young's career includes 15 years at Publicis Groupe, primarily in senior management roles within ZenithOptimedia Worldwide, including launching and overseeing Zenith China and as CEO of its Asia Network. Prior to that he was Regional Media Director for Saatchi & Saatchi, where he oversaw media planning duties for Procter & Gamble in 13 Asian markets.

“I’m very happy to be joining Mindshare at this exciting time in the agency’s evolution,” said Young, who is also the author of Brand Media Strategy: Integrated Communications Planning in the Digital Era, among other works. “I look forward to becoming part of a dynamic management team and working together to improve and expand the agency’s offerings across North America.”

Proctor added: “It’s especially exciting to bring Phil and Antony together to create such a dynamic management team based in New York. They’ve worked together in the past and now that they’re back together I’m certain the results will be fantastic.”

Photos of Phil Cowdell and Antony Young are available on request.

Mindshare is a global marketing and media services network with billings in excess of $27 billion (source: RECMA). The network consists of 97 offices in 67 countries throughout the USA, Latin America, Europe, Middle East, and Asia Pacific; each dedicated to forging competitive marketing advantage for businesses and their brands. Mindshare is a member of WPP, the world’s leading communications service group with $63.5bn in billings (source: RECMA). For more information, please visit  

GroupM is the leading global media investment management operation. It serves as the parent company to WPP media agencies including Maxus, MEC, MediaCom, and Mindshare. Our primary purpose is to maximize the performance of WPP’s media communications agencies on behalf of our clients, our stakeholders and our people by operating as a parent and collaborator in performance-enhancing activities such as trading, content creation, sports, digital, finance, proprietary tool development and other business-critical capabilities. The agencies that comprise GroupM are all global operations in their own right with leading market positions. The focus of GroupM is the intelligent application of physical and intellectual scale to benefit trading, innovation, and new communication services, to bring competitive advantage to our clients and our companies.

John Wolfe
Direct: +1 212-297-7160
Cell: +1 914-659-8663

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