Universal restructures for expansion

Universal McCann has restructured into five separate business units as it seeks to maintain services to its existing client base while aggressively seeking new business next year.

Universal McCann has restructured into five separate business units

as it seeks to maintain services to its existing client base while

aggressively seeking new business next year.



The shake-up was orchestrated by Universal’s joint managing directors,

Fiona Smedley and Chris Shaw, who took over from Trista Grant in

September.



Each division will have its own logo and identity as the company seeks

to build Chinese walls between the units and make each unit financially

accountable.



Universal Truths has been launched as a separate research unit to be

headed by Nick Hiddlestone, who is research director at Universal

McCann. It will target business from clients outside the existing agency

base, and work on research projects for the agency.



Universal Knowledge will house the strategic planning unit and a

strategic planning director will be appointed from outside the agency in

the next two months. Universal Programming will work on sponsorship.



The new-media unit is to be relaunched as Universal Foresight, and will

continue its relationship with the new-media specialist, Foresight.

Angus Ogilvy Stuart, associate director at Universal McCann, will head

the new unit.



Finally, a group head is being sought for Universal Software, which will

be dedicated to providing the best software for clients.



Smedley said: ’We wanted to set up a structure with separate accountable

units which must demonstrate that they can lead in their field.’



Shaw added: ’What we have done so far has been organic and

evolutionary.



Half the battle is to have a structure in place to allow you to

grow.’



Universal McCann has this year increased its staff by 50 per cent and

has gained pounds 66 million in new business. More than half of its

billings are now independent of sister creative agency, McCann Erickson.



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