McCann-Erickson has relaunched its media department as a separate
company under the banner, Universal McCann.
The agency’s media director, Trista Grant, becomes managing director of
the new company, which will continue to operate out of the main agency’s
Howland Street offices, in London, for the foreseeable future.
McCanns, which has increased its claimed media-only billings to 40 per
cent of its total pounds 200 million UK billings since the remerging of
H. K. McCann and McCann-Erickson last August, has been considering the
move for most of this year.
The change completes the branding of McCanns’ media network under the
Universal name across Europe.
McCanns in London has already picked up important new business, such as
Scott Paper and Saab, through Universal this year.
McCanns’ sister agency, Lowe Howard-Spink, was part of the Universal
‘media buying club’ when it launched in 1991, but withdrew earlier this
Grant stressed that the adoption of the Universal name was in the
interests of clarity across Europe. ‘We’re rejecting the Interpublic
buying shop route,’ she added.
Grant said the new operation would offer a blend of full-service and
media independent skills. ‘We believe the media independent route will
lead to the loss of strategic skills gained by working in a full-service
agency,’ she explained. ‘There are already signs that the independents
have gone too far down one route too early and are trying to buy in
consumer-driven strategic skills from full-service agencies.’
Grant added that clients were fully supportive of the process. David
Warden, the chairman of McCanns in London and the man to whom Grant will
report, said the change would allow the agency ‘to straddle the full
spectrum of client needs’.