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
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’
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-
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,
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.