McCann-Erickson is augmenting its managerial front-line by hiring Rae
Burdon, the former Saatchi and Saatchi stalwart, as deputy to Ben
Langdon, the agency’s managing director.
The appointment of the former Charlotte Street vice-chairman is one of a
flurry of recent signings by Langdon, who has been in Dublin this week
presenting plans for a radical restructuring of McCanns’ London office
to the network’s bosses.
Burdon, 44, will begin his new job on Monday with a brief to stand in
for Langdon when necessary, help raise standards and take responsibility
for some significant, as yet undisclosed, business.
Langdon said: ‘ I need some help to ensure the core business continues
to develop while we establish new services to meet new needs. Rae is a
grown-up and a good thinker. I’m sure he’ll make a big contribution.’
Burdon said: ‘I’m not one of those people who say you can’t turn McCanns
around. It’s a very good business with a sound revenue stream and a
strong base of happy clients.’
Burdon left Saatchis after 12 years in April without a job to go to,
after rejecting offers of other posts in the network.
‘I got bored with them and they got bored with me,’ he said.
‘I wasn’t learning and growing any more and you can only do that in a
job which is tough. Also, I feel most comfortable in a big operation.’
Burdon began his career at Nestle - a McCanns client - before joining
the then KMP. After a year at the Compton agency in New York he went to
Saatchis, where he built extensive fmcg experience on Procter and
Gamble, Rowntree and Mars. His recent account responsibilities at
Charlotte Street included Hewlett-Packard and Allied Domecq.
Burdon insisted he would have no problem fitting in with Langdon’s
controversial management style.
‘We have different but complementary skills,’ he said. ‘Ben is much more
charming and likeable than I expected.’