GLOBAL BRIEF: Why McCanns chose Holland - The network already has a Dutch shop, so why set up another, Karen Yates asks

Last week, McCann-Erickson took advantage of the publicity surrounding Bo Ronnberg, chairman of the Cannes judges, to announce the launch of a new agency in Amsterdam. The new shop, which is fully owned by McCanns, combines the resources of Ronnberg, the network’s leading light in Sweden, with two more of Scandinavia’s top names in advertising - Ami Hasan, who runs Hasan and Partners in Finland, and Peter Gudmundseth from Norway’s JBR/McCann.

Last week, McCann-Erickson took advantage of the publicity

surrounding Bo Ronnberg, chairman of the Cannes judges, to announce the

launch of a new agency in Amsterdam. The new shop, which is fully owned

by McCanns, combines the resources of Ronnberg, the network’s leading

light in Sweden, with two more of Scandinavia’s top names in advertising

- Ami Hasan, who runs Hasan and Partners in Finland, and Peter

Gudmundseth from Norway’s JBR/McCann.



The big question is why? Why, when McCanns already has a strong Dutch

agency (in Amstelveen), is it opening another shop in Amsterdam? And

why, when its three big names are doing well for McCanns in their own

countries, are they being wheeled out for yet another enterprise?



The answer is that the new business will not compete with McCann

Nederland or Lowe Kuiper and Schouten for local business. It is there

solely to take on Wieden and Kennedy and Bartle Bogle Hegarty for big

international accounts demanding creative advertising that crosses

borders.



Over the past few years, McCanns has grown in Scandinavia by acquiring

some of the most creative agencies around, notably those of Ronnberg,

Hasan and Gudmundseth. So the network now has some of its best creative

talent holed up in Scandinavia, rather than in the big European

markets.



How do you persuade a French company, say, to entrust its precious

pan-European campaign to an outpost of Siberia?



The answer is to establish a ’virtual’ agency in Amsterdam.

AD’AM-JBR/Ronnberg/Hasan, has only two full-time employees, its managing

director, Carsten Tobiassen, and a secretary.



But three of Scandinavia’s advertising gurus are also on tap as a brand

on their own within the McCanns network.



Ronnberg says that AD’AM’s first priority will be to woo large

Scandinavian brands such as Carlsberg, but admits that they are after

pan-European clients. ’Nike would be nice,’ he says.



And it is equally hard to present credible pan-European credentials to

giant Scandinavian companies like Lego and Electrolux if you are only

working from Scandinavia.



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