McCanns searches for merger partner to boost Scots shop

McCann-Erickson is looking for a merger partner to bolster its Scottish agency, which has been hit by account losses and has a lacklustre new-business record.

McCann-Erickson is looking for a merger partner to bolster its

Scottish agency, which has been hit by account losses and has a

lacklustre new-business record.



Initial talks with the Union and another small Edinburgh-based shop,

Covey’s, are understood to have taken place this week.



Brian Child, the chief executive of McCanns in Manchester, who has

overall responsibility for the group’s Scottish operations, confirmed

this week that a merger was likely. Child said: ’We’re interested in

talking to anybody with a good business proposition to put to us.’



The McCanns office in Edinburgh was badly hit by the recent loss of its

most important piece of business - the pounds 2 million Theakston beer

account - in the wake of Scottish & Newcastle’s takeover by Courage.



Aubrey Malden, the agency’s managing director for the past six years, is

to be replaced (Campaign, 13 June), although Child stressed he would be

relocated within the McCanns organisation.



’Aubrey is an excellent creative and we don’t want to lose him,’ Child

said. ’But we need to have a successful agency in Scotland so we’ve had

to look at changing its management.’ Paul Morley, the chairman of

McCanns in Birmingham, is examining the management structure in

Scotland.



Child admitted the loss of the Theakston account had ’concentrated our

minds’. He added: ’We need to concentrate on winning new clients.’



He also agreed that Scotland had always been a ’tricky area’ for McCanns

but insisted the group had no plans to withdraw from north of the

border.



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