Between the Lines: Now it's the McCann Seven

Robert Campbell's decision to leave McCann Erickson is a blow to the morale of the agency (page 1). For the past two years, the network's EMEA chief, Rupert Howell, has worked hard to effect a change in culture at the agency.

Nevertheless, change and McCann are not easy bedfellows. Under Campbell's stewardship, McCann's London office has improved but there's still a way to go. The company is steeped in a tradition that values client services above creativity. No wonder Campbell couldn't face the prospect of attempting to turn around its creative reputation across Europe.

When Howell assembled his dream management team, dubbed the McCann Eight, there was one flaw. The team was made up of experienced, successful and, in most cases, already rich veterans of the industry. Campbell was one of them and as such has already proved his ability elsewhere. Crucially, having sold the agency he co-founded to WPP for £27 million in 1999, he has also earned enough to make losing his current salary a manageable prospect.

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