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Ad man had ‘great vision’

THE advertising industry is mourning the loss of one of its most impressive figures with Ken Ferguson, a founding member of Marketforce and a driving force behind agencies such as The Alternative, Bean Birrell, Fortune and Masius, passing away last week.

Mr Ferguson also played a major role with the Small Business Development Corporation and was working on Enterprise in the Community, a project aimed at helping people in regional communities go into business for themselves.

His advertising industry colleagues have all described him as a man of vision, passion and entrepreneurship.

In his younger days Mr Ferguson was a competitive fast bowler. Many wonder what might have been if he had not come onto the scene at the same time as Dennis Lillee.

That love of sport continued through his life and was passed on to his two sons.

Mr Ferguson helped form Marketforce and took over the agency’s chairmanship from Bill Warnock.

He left the agency for health reasons but returned to become general manager of its eastern States operations.

The Alternative managing director Terry Evans said Mr Ferguson had been a very passionate person.

“He had strong belief systems,” he said.

“He always fought for the advertising industry to be seen in the highest professional light by other businesses. He always put advertising in the same category as corporate law and corporate accounting.”

Mr Evans said Mr Ferguson had a knack for seeing a press release, connecting it to something he had read several months ago and contacting someone to bring the three together.

“Ken could create something out of nothing,” he said.

Marketforce director Howard Read said Mr Ferguson had played a big role in the creation of what is now Perth’s largest advertising agency.

“Ken had great vision and when he’d set his mind on that vision, nothing would deter him,” he said.

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