Brutal Emails Reveal Y&R Boss Regarded His Creative Director As 'Arrogant' And A 'Bully'

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Y&R

Tony Granger

An Australian court ruling has quoted at length from internal emails sent between brass at Young & Rubicam over the hiring of Reed Collins from Leo Burnett to become national creative director at The Campaign Palace, a unit of Y&R in Australia.

In them, Campaign Palace Executive Chairman Mark Mackay describes Tony Granger, the global creative director at Young & Rubicam as an arrogant New York bully, a reference to the period when Granger was forcing out longtime Campaign Palace creative chief Paul Fishlock in favor of Collins.

The emails date back to 2010, and begin with Granger sending a single-line email to Michelle Daly, the global head of creative talent at Young and Rubicam, telling her that Fishlock must be replaced as executive creative director, the ruling states:

Mr Granger responded on 29 October 2010 with an email to Ms Daly in the following terms:

Cool:) My point is Ecd not cd. Fishlock is a problem and has to go.

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Paul Fishlock

LinkedIn / Paul Fishlock

Fishlock only found out he was being replaced by Reed when he learned that a press release was being prepared. He asked Granger for a copy. Fishlock did not like what he saw:

On 30 January 2011 the plaintiff sent an email to Mr Mackay. It read as follows:

This is obviously not good. The contempt is palpable - he could not even be bothered to put my name at the top or punctuate correctly.

It's the appropriate end to a deeply humiliating week of not being able to answer questions from clients, staff, media and others about how the new structure will work. As I am sure you are aware The Campaign Palace isn't looking too clever over this.

As you can imagine there is no way on this earth that as Executive Creative Director/Chairman I will be showing my work to the newcomer for approval; never mind rollover and relinquish a position I have held for the past 7 years.

And I'd thank all concerned not to insult me by suggesting it.

... But to require his approval on my work? To report to him? Be expected to assume a role of senior copywriter that I last held in 1996? The comedy is nothing short of spiteful.

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Mark Mackay

Mark Mackay / LinkedIn

Mark Mackay

Mackay noted that he believed Campaign Palace was "haemorrhaging" business, and it was for that reason Granger wanted Fishlock replaced. In describing Granger's attitude, Mackay said he was a bully:

Mr Mackay, when asked about a number of emails which passed between himself and Mr Granger, described Mr Granger as "an arrogant leader in New York". A little later he described Mr Granger as lacking "commercial savvy" and also as a "bully". He said:

One needs to humour bullies and the way that one does it is as I have outlined in these emails.

Read the full ruling here.



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