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Ben Richards

Worldwide Chief Strategy Officer, Ogilvy & Mather

David Ogilvy said that our agency does two things: “we look after clients, and we teach young people” – and that’s how I divide my time.

I joined Ogilvy & Mather in February 2010 and my job is to help teams across our companies in 120 countries produce world-class integrated work.

We have unique breadth, with 450 offices spanning every marketing discipline. But our resources mean nothing unless we can mobilize them nimbly.

That requires deep integration, and it’s something our clients really care about. They’re facing “The Great Fragmentation”– more channels, more disciplines, more audiences, more metrics and more geographies than ever before. And they know that integration pays: integrated work is proven to be more profitable, not to mention more successful at winning effectiveness and creativity awards.

I’m very proud to work at O&M. I’m particularly proud to have led strategy on two of the company’s biggest global new business wins, Philips and SC Johnson. And I’m privileged to be the youngest person ever to be elected to serve on the Worldwide Board.

On my happiest days, I feel like I’ve helped people be better at what they do. I recently received an email from our office in the Czech Republic, thanking me for helping them win their country’s most loved beer brand, Pilsner Urquell. The thing is, I didn’t realize we were pitching the client and I’ve never visited the Czech Republic! Yet they generously attributed the win to training they’d had on “Fusion” – Ogilvy’s Operating System – a set of simple tools I co-wrote to help teams harness all our capabilities and deliver effective integrated work. We all have a favorite David Ogilvy quotation; mine is “one agency, indivisible”.

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