NEWS: Board resigns in McCann revamp

Ben Langdon, chief executive of McCann-Erickson, has asked the agency’s 60-strong board to resign as part of a restructuring programme to turn the company into a total communications agency.

Ben Langdon, chief executive of McCann-Erickson, has asked the agency’s

60-strong board to resign as part of a restructuring programme to turn

the company into a total communications agency.



The en masse resignation was put to staff on Tuesday. The package is to

shake the agency out of what Langdon describes as its ‘apathy’ and

rebuild its ‘pride’ as part of one of the world’s largest communications

networks.



Langdon will now reselect a smaller group to work with the new

management board, which he unveiled at the meeting. This will include

Gary Betts and Malcolm Green, the new executive creative directors

appointed by McCanns last week.



Other changes include the strengthening of McCanns’ integrated

capabilities by moving the majority of accounts and 20 staff from the

sister below-the-line agency, McCann Communications, into the main

Howland Street offices. In addition, McCanns’ existing database and

direct marketing experts will be transferred to a new in-house agency,

McCann Relationship Marketing London.



Both will be supported by the introduction of a production department

for integrated material, leading to three redundancies in McCanns’

traffic department.



Langdon also announced the dissolution of the agency’s planning

department into account groups and the formation of the McCann Strategy

Group, offering high-level business advice to clients and some non-

clients.



Eight consultants will staff the unit by January, including the former

CDP vice-chairman, David Clifford, Barry Ross of the Strategic Research

Group and Gerard O’Neil, the managing director of the Henley Centre,

Ireland.



The London agency has also taken control of the group-owned youth

marketing shop, Magic Hat, in a balance-sheet transfer that will help

the agency target younger clients.



Langdon said that that the changes would make McCanns a total

communications agency and provide staff with facilities appropriate to a

‘world-class’ operation. He hoped the improvements would have a knock-on

effect on staff morale.



Newsmaker, p12



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