Mother Hires Michael Wall as New Global CEO
From Lowe and Partners, and Fallon London, Wall Comes To Mother
There’s an old saying in business, and especially in advertising, that rings true this week for independent agency Mother – if you can’t beat ‘em, hire ‘em.
Mother has announced that Michael Wall, a legend in the advertising business, is now Global CEO and partner. This is quite a scoop for the agency, and one that should make Mother even more of a player in international advertising.
Starting his professional career as a graduate trainee at DMB&B (an agency long since gobbled up by multiple mergers, the last of which was Publicis), Wall worked on COI, Procter and Gamble, and Budweiser. In 1992, he joined Lowe Howard-Spink (another wonderful agency that become part of an inevitable merger) to work on Tesco and Coca-Cola.
Just three years later, Wall became a Board Account Director at Simons Palmer (now TBWA) and worked fastidiously on the launch of the landmark Sony Playstation campaign.
But it was in 1998 that Wall gained most notoriety, becoming one of the five founders of Fallon London. In his time at Fallon, the agency became one of the most respected, and copied, in the world. The name Fallon oozed class and confidence, and the work for Sony Bravia, Skoda, and Cadbury, among many others, garnered awards by the truckload.
It was also the period in which Fallon and Mother became great rivals.
After a hiatus from the industry following the sale of Fallon Worldwide to the industry giant Publicis, Wall returned to London as Global CEO of Lowe and Partners. And after six years of success, he is making his home at Mother London, and overseeing the entire Mother network.
Joining existing Mother Holdings partners, Matt Clark, Andy Medd, Robert Saville, and Mark Waites, Wall plans to bring his unique skillset to an agency that continues to make waves in the industry. In 2014 alone, Mother London’s billings were an impressive $247 million. The client list includes Stella Artois, Ikea, Boots, Halfords, Chipotle UK, Castello, and Moneysupermarket.
Mother is clearly excited to have Wall on board, as evidenced by the statement given by Mother partner Robert Saville: “We have been chasing Mr. Wall for years. He’s not an easy man to catch. He wasn’t an easy man to beat either, as Mother and Fallon faced up against each other over the years. Mother has needed Michael’s skills in business leadership for a while. But more importantly we welcome a genuinely good person with the same passion for the transformative power of creativity into the family. I suspect Michael will make us all better.”
Wall is being tasked with leading the Mother network, expanding the reach of the agency, and broadening its current offerings. This could be in no small part due to the fact that, outside of London, Mother is not having the impact it was expected to have. Although winning Creativity Agency of the Year back in 2009, Mother New York has been quiet for over 5 years. And its other satellite offices are quieter still.
How does the man of the moment feel about all of this? Wall is unsurprisingly thrilled about his future with Mother, and the job that lies ahead; “Mother is a special company. I'm delighted to take on this role. Our shared ambition is to make sure Mother continues to lead the creative frontline and we accelerate our growth and impact in the markets we are already in as well as those that we are eyeing up. And have some fun along the way.”