"Brands matter more than ever" - worldwide CEO John Seifert opens up on his vision for Ogilvy & Mather

Ogilvy & Mather's new worldwide chief executive has spoken of his views on the focus for the WPP-owned creative network, stating it will continue with a belief that "brands still matter".

Seifert has recently taken over the role from O&M stalwart Miles Young.

Speaking to The Drum at Cannes Lions, he began by explaining that the festival's awards are seen as a metric to "best evaluate the performance" of the creative agency network's output.

He said: "What it's really done is it has renovated the agency globally in terms of our creative standards. So while Cannes is not the only way to measure creativity it is one of the most important ways to signal whether we are doing is on the edge of what we call the 'modern marketing world.'"

He also discussed his vision for running the network: "There are a lot of people saying brands don't matter much in this world of perfect information, where I can find out almost anything about a product or a service or a company through the transparency of the Internet or what employees think of the brand or this notion of brand choice and brand positioning and brand equity or point of view as not being important. We couldn't disagree more.

"We believe that brands are more important than ever because in this world where you have more of everything...you need a brand to help you stand apart from all that fragmentation and chaos in the modern marketing world. Brands are not just about saying things in advertising, they are about what the brands do and how do you engage with audiences in a way where the value and service of a brand can really be felt in a very personal way."

Ogilvy & Mather hopes to win Network of the Year again for a fifth year in a row this year. It had already won nine gold lions this week at the time of writing.

Watch The Drum's video documentary on how it worked with IBM Watson to interview the network's late founder, David Ogilvy for it's AI edited edition, out now.

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