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DDB’s David Tang explains the difficulties of finding great talent

DDB has put up a post, or what it calls, a rather “a cheeky open letter” to the best planners in town.

In the letter written by David Tang (Asia CEO) and Neil Johnson (CCO), the two say they are looking for a planner who has what it takes to replace them both. The dream planner the company is looking for also has to have two heads that can “grow into a single head of planning at DDB”, the letter said.

Click to see the full letter.

In a conversation with Marketing, a spokesperson from DDB said this does not mean the two will take it easy. Rather, this was spurred because the duo wanted to focus more of their time on current key clients such as StarHub, DBS, McDonald’s, SilkAir and government agenda.

The spokesperson added that Tang and Johnson now want to focus on growing the T-divisions, to bring about more innovative solutions for DDB’s clients.

“We’re looking at our next wave in digital innovation, shopper marketing, predictive logic, e-commerce and social good.  Very soon, you’ll hear about a global tech hub that we are setting up,” she added.

This comes on the back of the agency launching  TracyLocke, its shopper marketing firm and the agency is now trying to build up “highly advanced store and shopper marketing solutions” for key clients.

“Where they are going, there is no backseat. Neil and David have been the agency’s planners for a long time. So, DDB regards planning as the most strategic and creative department. We’re looking for a top-class practitioner to inspire and challenge us,” she added.

Meanwhile in a statement from Tang, when asked if finding a senior talent with both a creative and strategy head combined was hard, he said:

“Yes of course, take a look around the agencies – you don’t see too many double-headed llamas (referring the image used as part of the cheeky letter). It’s never a one man, or a one woman, show. Every great agency needs five or six strong practitioners at the top, with very diverse, collaborative and apposite skills, running it. You¹ll need the diversity and the fierce independence – but yet have the respect and goodwill to work with each other,” he said.

He added that the agency was looking for someone “with great brains and little ego, to make planning exciting” for the agency and win pitches.

“We’ll be there to guide, for sure. Of course, we’ll play to his/her strengths – we’re a very fluid team at DDB,” he said adding:

Hopefully we will appoint before the US has a new president. And we better hope it’s not Trump.

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