Universal McCann has restructured into five separate business units
as it seeks to maintain services to its existing client base while
aggressively seeking new business next year.
The shake-up was orchestrated by Universal’s joint managing directors,
Fiona Smedley and Chris Shaw, who took over from Trista Grant in
Each division will have its own logo and identity as the company seeks
to build Chinese walls between the units and make each unit financially
Universal Truths has been launched as a separate research unit to be
headed by Nick Hiddlestone, who is research director at Universal
McCann. It will target business from clients outside the existing agency
base, and work on research projects for the agency.
Universal Knowledge will house the strategic planning unit and a
strategic planning director will be appointed from outside the agency in
the next two months. Universal Programming will work on sponsorship.
The new-media unit is to be relaunched as Universal Foresight, and will
continue its relationship with the new-media specialist, Foresight.
Angus Ogilvy Stuart, associate director at Universal McCann, will head
the new unit.
Finally, a group head is being sought for Universal Software, which will
be dedicated to providing the best software for clients.
Smedley said: ’We wanted to set up a structure with separate accountable
units which must demonstrate that they can lead in their field.’
Shaw added: ’What we have done so far has been organic and
Half the battle is to have a structure in place to allow you to
Universal McCann has this year increased its staff by 50 per cent and
has gained pounds 66 million in new business. More than half of its
billings are now independent of sister creative agency, McCann Erickson.