Brian Fetherstonhaugh is a marketing rock star—and winner of the 2014 Caples Andi Emerson Award for his vast contributions to the direct marketing creative community over the course of his storied career. And just like classic rock, one of his passions, the chairman and CEO of OgilvyOne Worldwide has seen marketing undergo a major evolution.
Fetherstonhaugh didn’t always know that he’d be an agency legend. Originally pursuing a degree in accounting at McGill University, the Montreal native switched his major after falling in love with his first marketing class freshman year. The rest, as they say, is history.
Throughout the years, Fetherstonhaugh built a career that harmonized both brand and agency perspectives. Starting in brand management at Procter & Gamble Canada, Fetherstonhaugh later joined advertising firm Ogilvy & Mather in 1983 and worked his way up to president of its Canadian operations. After leading the Canadian branch for 14 years, Fetherstonhaugh moved to New York to head the repositioning of Ogilvy’s flagship account, IBM, as an “e-business”—an achievement he considers to be one of his proudest moments.
Today, Fetherstonhaugh spearheads OgilvyOne Worldwide—a customer engagement and marketing agency with more than 4,300 staff in 50 countries. His leadership has helped the organization win countless awards, including the 2014 Cannes Lions Grand Prix Direct and two Grand Clio Awards for British Airways’ “Look Up” campaign. But if his marketing gig doesn’t work out, Fetherstonhaugh can always fall back on “Plan B”—his classic rock band.
Fetherstonhaugh has navigated his way through many marketing milestones, including the rise of digital, consumer control, and social; however, his commitment to the customer has never wavered.
“Follow the consumer,” Fetherstonhaugh says. “Let the consumer help you sort through what’s an irrelevant distraction, what’s really profound, and [what’s] going to change the behavior at some scale. Don’t be overly dazzled by a shiny object and technology.”