We have done better than 99 per cent of the global networks in terms of new business, consolidating with our global clients and the quality of our works. But every market has been hit hard, there isn’t any market that has escaped the global crisis. The good news is that we’ve been incredibly resourceful in terms of continuing to invest in what we think are priorities and we haven’t ducked in any changes. So why we are excited about 2010 is because we can see the great shape that we are in as a network as well as in India.
Tom Carroll is one of the key architects that transformed TBWA from an agency of great creative shops around the world into one of the most effective networks in the world. His leadership and influence have helped the network revitalise and expand its relationships with existing clients like Absolut, McDonald’s and Nissan, and grow the client roster with new brands, including adidas and Mars.
During his tenure with TBWA, the network has been recognised by both Advertising Age and Adweek as ‘Global Agency Network of the Year’, and is consistently ranked as one of the top-five most creatively awarded networks in the world.
Carroll began his career in 1978 at Mathieu, Gerfen and Bresner, working on the US launches of Perrier and Moosehead Beer. In 1983, Carroll met Jay Chiat and discovered his passion for creating big ideas that could literally change the world. He worked at Chiat\Day advertising in both New York and Los Angeles leading the General Electric, Pizza Hut and Miller Brewing accounts. In 1989, Carroll founded Weiss, Whitten, Carroll, Stagliano, whose clients included Guinness Import Company, Citibank and Rossignol Skis. In 1995, Carroll moved to MVBMS, where he was a partner responsible for Dunkin’ Donuts, Evian, Oppenheimer Funds and Universal Studios.
He returned to TBWA in 1999 as President of the Los Angeles office. In April 2001, Carroll took on additional responsibilities as President of the Americas, with oversight of the network’s operations in North and South America. He moved back to New York at the beginning of 2002 to concentrate on his new role. He was promoted to Vice Chairman of TBWA Worldwide in 2004, President in 2006, and was named President & CEO in 2007.
Carroll is Chairman of the AAAA Board of Directors; he currently serves as a Director of Advertising Week, the largest annual gathering of advertising and media decision-makers in North America.
Today, Carroll is helping transform TBWA once again by orchestrating the implementation of Media Arts Model into the network by challenging the entire network to understand, brand by brand, how people are using media across their lives. Grounded in Disruption, Media Arts is a philosophy that puts all the ways a brand connects at the center of what the agency creates.
In conversation with exchange4media’s Tasneem Limbdiwala, Carroll speaks at length about TBWA’s India plans, growth targets, creativity in India and battling slowdown.