What took Mindshare so long to promote Creighton?

Mark Creighton’s promotion to chief executive of WPP’s Mindshare has been well received among the media fraternity, with at least one industry stalwart wondering what took them so long.

Creighton is a figure who seems like he’s been around for much longer than he has. He’d already made quite a name for himself as the managing director of that digital pioneer i-Level, before the government’s COI pulled the plug as a client and the business collapsed.

Since then, the 36 year old has sat within Mindshare’s management team, and as became clear in our interview, feels ready for his new leadership challenge.

He certainly enjoys some strong endorsements, not least from David Pattison, yes he who will forever enjoy having put the ‘P’ into PHD. He was chairman at i -Level during Creighton’s tenure, and has been far from surprised by his meteoric rise since then.

“If anything, I’m surprised it’s taken Mindshare so long,” he says. “Even at 31-32 years of age, you always felt like you’re talking to a grown-up.

“He thinks things through and is very collaborative. That rare blend of having a strong point of view while still taking on board the opinions of others. And clients absolutely adore him, because he always thinks about what’s right for them… and of course, he has the benefit of being very current.”

Pattison predicts: “He’ll make his own mark as leader of the agency in a quiet and measured way.”

Glowing praise indeed, and it continued when I talked to another media stalwart, Colin Gillespie, the co-founder of All Response Media.

Creighton first began his media career as an account executive at the direct response specialist in 1999. Gillespie recalls “an incredibly bright grad, who had a clarity of thought and steely determination that is very rare”.

He adds: “For a fast-paced response business like ours, the ability to think on your feet while keeping an eye on the bigger picture is essential. He had an authority about him, even at an early age.”

No doubt one of the reasons Creighton was not made CEO sooner is because of the success the agency has enjoyed under Jed Glanvill’s leadership for the past seven years.

To give him his dues, Glanvill helped secure many high profile accounts in his time, not least News international, Axa, COI’s planning and McDonalds.

He also helped retain major global business in the shape of Unilever and Nestle, while playing his part in establishing Martin Sorrell’s now beloved powerhouse, GroupM, in the UK.

Those with longer memories might even credit Glanvill with helping to knock down Mindshare’s ‘House of Media’ too. Full of charm, humour and bull in equal measure, he’ll be missed on the day to day circuit.

But time marches on, something Glanvill will be the first to recognise. The former BBJ Media graduate once told Media Week in 2008 he would not move into a GroupM role, believing himself to be a Mindshare man through and through. I wonder if that prognosis is due a revision?