It is 20 years since he co-founded Mindshare, WPP’s first global media agency network.
And as Emery, now the global chief executive of Mindshare, quietly marks its birthday without a big celebration, he knows there are parallels between those heady days in 1997 and today’s uncertain times.
Indeed, his boss, Sir Martin Sorrell, the chief executive of WPP, said earlier this year that the disruption currently facing the agency sector is the biggest market shift since Mindshare launched.
Back in 1997, the creation of Mindshare looked like a defensive move as WPP merged the media departments of Ogilvy and JWT to form a new, standalone media agency.
"There was certainly a feeling that we were behind the competition," Emery admits, recalling how rivals such as Zenith, CIA and TMD Carat were already well established in the UK and winning clients from WPP agencies.
But late-mover advantage and international ambition worked in Mindshare’s favour as the agency grew rapidly.
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