Scottish and EU Referendums 'A Nightmare', Warns Ad Boss

The Evening Standard (London, England), July 4, 2014 | Go to article overview

Scottish and EU Referendums 'A Nightmare', Warns Ad Boss


Byline: Gideon Spanier

ONE of the world's top advertising bosses warned today that "the huge constitutional muddle" over Scottish independence and Britain's possible exit from the European Union was "nightmarish" for the UK economy.

Miles Young, the New York-based chairman and chief executive of Ogilvy & Mather, was bullish about London's prospects but fearful about the rest of the UK because of the political uncertainty and the "huge wealth divide" outside the capital.

Young told the Evening Standard the prospect of independence for Scotland "is just a disaster seen from the outside. And then you've got the whole dilemma of the UK's relationship with Europe which is so ambiguous and confused. So from a country perspective, it seems slightly nightmarish".

Young's views carry weight because he has run Ogilvy, the world's biggest ad agency network, since 2009. With about 24,000 staff, its clients include British Airways, Unilever, IBM and Coca-Cola.

He warned that doubts about Scotland and EU membership risked harming the UK as a place to do business. "For global clients based in America, it's just another evidence of the fractured and rudderless sense of Europe being in the past," said Young, even though he stressed they were mistaken. …

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