Last week, McCann-Erickson took advantage of the publicity
surrounding Bo Ronnberg, chairman of the Cannes judges, to announce the
launch of a new agency in Amsterdam. The new shop, which is fully owned
by McCanns, combines the resources of Ronnberg, the network’s leading
light in Sweden, with two more of Scandinavia’s top names in advertising
- Ami Hasan, who runs Hasan and Partners in Finland, and Peter
Gudmundseth from Norway’s JBR/McCann.
The big question is why? Why, when McCanns already has a strong Dutch
agency (in Amstelveen), is it opening another shop in Amsterdam? And
why, when its three big names are doing well for McCanns in their own
countries, are they being wheeled out for yet another enterprise?
The answer is that the new business will not compete with McCann
Nederland or Lowe Kuiper and Schouten for local business. It is there
solely to take on Wieden and Kennedy and Bartle Bogle Hegarty for big
international accounts demanding creative advertising that crosses
Over the past few years, McCanns has grown in Scandinavia by acquiring
some of the most creative agencies around, notably those of Ronnberg,
Hasan and Gudmundseth. So the network now has some of its best creative
talent holed up in Scandinavia, rather than in the big European
How do you persuade a French company, say, to entrust its precious
pan-European campaign to an outpost of Siberia?
The answer is to establish a ’virtual’ agency in Amsterdam.
AD’AM-JBR/Ronnberg/Hasan, has only two full-time employees, its managing
director, Carsten Tobiassen, and a secretary.
But three of Scandinavia’s advertising gurus are also on tap as a brand
on their own within the McCanns network.
Ronnberg says that AD’AM’s first priority will be to woo large
Scandinavian brands such as Carlsberg, but admits that they are after
pan-European clients. ’Nike would be nice,’ he says.
And it is equally hard to present credible pan-European credentials to
giant Scandinavian companies like Lego and Electrolux if you are only
working from Scandinavia.