NEWS: McCanns media finds distinct brand identity

By JOHN OWEN,, Friday, 08 December 1995 12:00AM

McCann-Erickson has relaunched its media department as a separate company under the banner, Universal McCann.

McCann-Erickson has relaunched its media department as a separate

company under the banner, Universal McCann.

The agency’s media director, Trista Grant, becomes managing director of

the new company, which will continue to operate out of the main agency’s

Howland Street offices, in London, for the foreseeable future.

McCanns, which has increased its claimed media-only billings to 40 per

cent of its total pounds 200 million UK billings since the remerging of

H. K. McCann and McCann-Erickson last August, has been considering the

move for most of this year.

The change completes the branding of McCanns’ media network under the

Universal name across Europe.

McCanns in London has already picked up important new business, such as

Scott Paper and Saab, through Universal this year.

McCanns’ sister agency, Lowe Howard-Spink, was part of the Universal

‘media buying club’ when it launched in 1991, but withdrew earlier this


Grant stressed that the adoption of the Universal name was in the

interests of clarity across Europe. ‘We’re rejecting the Interpublic

buying shop route,’ she added.

Grant said the new operation would offer a blend of full-service and

media independent skills. ‘We believe the media independent route will

lead to the loss of strategic skills gained by working in a full-service

agency,’ she explained. ‘There are already signs that the independents

have gone too far down one route too early and are trying to buy in

consumer-driven strategic skills from full-service agencies.’

Grant added that clients were fully supportive of the process. David

Warden, the chairman of McCanns in London and the man to whom Grant will

report, said the change would allow the agency ‘to straddle the full

spectrum of client needs’.

This article was first published on


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