McCann-Erickson was this week mourning the loss of Alex Ferguson,
its joint managing director, after his death in a climbing accident.
He died instantly near the summit of the Jungfrau in Switzerland when he
was hit by a falling boulder. Another McCann executive, who had been on
a week-long climbing holiday with Ferguson, was unhurt. Mountain
rescuers in the area - where there have been no rockfalls for 20 years -
described the accident as a freak. Ferguson, 32, was an experienced
climber who was wearing safety equipment and a helmet.
This week friends and colleagues paid tribute to Ferguson, an all-round
sportsman who "lived life to the full" and who was tipped to set up his
own agency in future years.
Ben Langdon, the McCann chairman and chief executive, commented: "Alex
was a prodigious talent and will be greatly missed by his friends,
colleagues and clients."
Ferguson's route into advertising was via a small management
consultancy, which led him to a planner's job at Mustoe Merriman
Damien Horner, Mustoe's business development director, said: "He hadn't
a clue about advertising but because he was so bright, articulate and
enthusiastic, it compensated for his early ignorance. Clients loved him
He joined McCann as a senior planner in 1999, was promoted to client
services director the following year and joint managing director at the
start of 2001. Horner said: "Such was Alex's drive and ambition, I've no
doubt he'd have set up his own agency."
Ferguson's funeral takes place this Friday at 11am at St Clement Danes
in the Strand, London. Anyone who knew him is welcome to attend.