- WPP's GroupM has named Tim Castree as the new global CEO for media investment agency MEC, according to The Wall Street Journal.
- Castree will replace Charles Courtier, the agency's CEO for the last 14 years. The hire comes in the wake of MEC losing its high-value AT&T contract to Omnicom.
- Unlike Courtier, who was based in London, Castree will be based in New York. Castree will report to GroupM Global CEO Kelly Clark.
GroupM's move to hire a new CEO for its media investment agency MEC comes after the significant loss of AT&T's $2 billion North America account. MEC still manages more than $25 billion in yearly media spending, Adweek reports, but the loss of such a large and important account came as a massive blow to the agency.
Brands and agencies have generally found themselves at odds over the last year over issues ranging from transparency and sexism to a lack of digital chops in the agency world. The amount of agency accounts put under review in 2015 was higher than the three previous years combined, including such brands as P&G, Coca-Cola and Volkswagen. The trend has shown no signs of abating in 2016, with some brands like Pepsi increasingly bringing digital marketing functions in-house and other brands like McDonald's changing agencies.
The traditional agency/brand relationship has evolved as a result of marketing becoming more data-driven and digital. The traditional big players in the agency space have been slow to react to the 21st century realities of digital marketing and the changing needs of big brand marketers that once spent large marketing budgets with those agencies.
Castree comes to the CEO role with a strong background working major clients and expertise in programmatic video, with previous roles as Managing Director of Videology in North America and USA Chief Operating Officer for Publicis Group’s Mediavest, where he worked with the American Honda Motor Company, Mondelez, Coca-Cola, Microsoft and Sprint.