What’s the Most Dangerous Job at an Agency?

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Business directors sit in a dangerous position, according to AdWeek's Noreen O'Leary, with many in their roles for two years or less.


While much has been made of the short lifespan of CMOs­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­—on average 45 months, according to recruiters Spencer Stuart—there’s even more survival pressure on the business development executives pitching those clients.

In fact, a whopping 80 percent of agency respondents in a new Agency-Marketer Business Report from RSW/US said the tenure of their new business director was just two years or less.

While some execs are poached, a major factor for that revolving door is agencies do not always set realistic performance expectations, said RSW president Mark Sneider.

Publicis North America chief Andrew Bruce, who last week announced he’s hired Julie Levin, formerly chief growth officer at The Martin Agency, as CMO, concurred: “It’s not fair to blame everything on the CMO. I said to Julie, ‘If you fail, I fail.’ There are a lot of people around her with skin in the game.”

There is recent anecdotal evidence to support RSW’s survey results.

Read the full article by AdWeek’s Noreen O’Leary here.

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