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Michael Houston on the New Gig at Grey and More

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    Michael Houston on the New Gig at Grey and More Michael Houston on the New Gig at Grey and More

    4/24/18

    By Bobby McGill | April 23, 2018

    Branding in Asia sat down in Seoul last week with Michael Houston during the Korea-leg of his “getting to know you” tour of Grey offices in Asia.

    Just last August, the New York-based Grey Group, a century-old firm which ranks among the top advertising and marketing organizations in the world, serving one-fifth of the Fortune 500 in 96 countries, appointed Houston as its Worldwide CEO – only the fifth in one-hundred years.

    Over the course of our conversation, the affable Houston talked about settling into the new gig, his take on brands moving creativity in-house, trends he likes in the industry, ones he doesn’t, where Grey is focused in Asia, and more.

    One particular topic of interest was brands bringing creative work in-house.

    Houston feels there is a place for it, but he stressed the importance of companies first creating the right culture if they’re serious about pulling it off.

    “I understand the desire to take work in-house, and I think there are certain things that, truthfully, a client can take in-house,” said Houston, before anchoring that statement in a caveat.

    “I do believe wholeheartedly, however, that creativity takes a certain kind of culture to really thrive, and unless a client is willing to create that culture, I believe there is still value, of course, in an agency, and the environment that we’re able to create for creativity to thrive.”

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