McCann's Alex Ferguson dies on climbing holiday in Switzerland

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

for it."

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.