We’ve received confirmation that McCann, which of course just brought onSuzanne Powers as its new CSO, has also had to cut some staff this week in its New York hub. Sources tell us that reductions were made in staffing levels and capabilities across departments. The reason? Well, as we’ve seen time and time again in these kinds of situations, it was “to best service clients.” From what we’re hearing, the number of those affected by McCann’s move is over a dozen and less than 20. We’ll fill you in if we hear more.
Busy day on the IPG-related front, to say the least, as now McCann Erickson has announced that Suzanne Powers has joined the agency in the global role of EVP/chief strategy officer. Powers takes over for Daryl Lee, who was bumped up to global CEO of McCann sibling, UM. The new global CSO, meanwhile, arrives from CP+B, where she spent two-and-a-half-years in a similar position as global strategy officer.
In a statement, McCann Worldgroup chairman/CEO Harris Diamond says of his agency’s new hire, “We are pleased to have Suzanne join us. Suzanne has the energy, passion and skills to lead our incredibly talented group of strategic executives. She brings us a unique perspective on how to build global insights and ideas across our brands, geographies and culture.”
Prior to CP+B, Powers spent a decade at TBWA, moving up the ranks from account planner to global strategy director, working with brands including Mars, Nivea and GSK along the way.
Well, there are more changes on the MRM front to be had according to those in the know. Less than a week after undergoing various leadership shifts, including Bill Kolb‘s promotion as well as an alignment and changing of the guard in its West Coast operations, we’ve received confirmation from sources familiar with the matter confirm that Mark Singer and MRM have parted ways. Singer (pictured), who originally joined MRM in December 2008 as SVP/account director on the U.S. Army account, eventually moved up the ladder to serve as EVP/general manager at the agency’s New York hub.
From what we’ve been told by our sources, MRM worldwide president Michael McLaren will absorb Singer’s responsibilities for the time being, but there will be an eventual replacement for the latter exec (no timetable set yet, though). Prior to McCann/MRM, Singer spent nearly two years as SVP/senior partner at Ogilvy on American Express. Update: Sources add that Singer left June 3 after a long transition period” to go back into management consulting as a partner at Deloitte, where he had a previous five-year run as senior manager.
Changing one of the most iconic products in the world could backfire. We’ve seen Coca-Cola add new flavors and alter their signature bottle contour before: New Coke fizzled out quietly after a decade, and Coca-Cola Blak didn’t even last two years. Now, McCann Milan is making the slightest of changes to Coke cans in Italy, redesigning the mouth, so when someone opens a new Coke, it looks as if the can is smiling back at them. McCann is calling this product the “Happy Can.”
The adjustment is so subtle, folks may not even realize anything has changed at all. The campaign is meant to cheer up Italians after a year of controversial press focusing on Silvio Berlusconi, a new Pope, and a troubled economy. Will the Happy Can make any difference? Probably not, since the can has yet to go into production. At the moment, it is only being hyped for promotional purposes, popping up on billboards in major Italian cities while the Coca-Cola brand goes over the legality of a widespread tweak to their traditional design. If McCann’s can modification could actually remedy Italy’s 36% youth unemployment rate, then people may be more inclined to buy a smiling pop-top. But for now, it’s just a very minor gesture in a country with some very major problems. Credits after the jump.
We’re hearing it’s all good, complete with XO’s, and considering his background, we can understand why he’s leaving. But yes, sources familiar with the matter have confirmed that Larry Fish, who’s spent the last two years serving as chief financial officer at McCann Erickson NY, will soon be parting ways with the agency to serve as president of Brooklyn-based chain, Financier Patisserie. We’ve been told by those in the know that this is Fish’s “dream job” and considering that he’s also served as adjunct professor at the French Culinary Institute for several years (and while holding down his day job as McCann NY in the last two), consider us less than shocked.
Sources say that Fish will stick around at McCann until mid-June to ensure a “smooth transition.” Prior to his most recent CFO gig, the exec held similar positions at the likes of Naked Communications.
It looks like Matt Canzano‘s role within McCann has further expanded as the 10-year vet and current chief creative officer of said agency’s Motor City office has now been elevated to the dual role of global ECD of GM-focused Commonwealth/CCO of MRM Detroit.
Taking over as day-to-day creative leads at McCann Detroit, meanwhile, are Mike Stocker and Robin Chrumka, who joined just last summer and will now assume the roles of EVP/co-ECDs at the agency, which works with clients including GM (duh), ALDI and Pure Michigan. The creative pair has been working together for well over a decade and has a fair share of automotive experience, having spent several years as creative directors at BBDO Detroit overseeing work on the Jeep account.
Another McCann-related p0st, you say? What the hell. Well, it looks like Houston-based Ignite Restaurant Group has gone all in with McCann Erickson, handing its full brand advertising duties to the New York office, which picked up AOR duties for its Joe’s Crab Shack chain last November. Apparently, the spot you see above for Joe’s helped spur the move. In a statement, Ignite CMO Robin Ahearn says, “The positive feedback from ‘100% Shore’ and the great working relationship we’ve developed with McCann led to this consolidation. Our goal is to drive frequency with our current guests and introduce our restaurants to new guests across the country. McCann is helping us do just that.”
As far as Ignite’s new move, McCann NY is now serving as AOR for Romano’s Macaroni Grill brand and will handle strategy responsibilities for Brick House Tavern + Tap. From what we’ve been told, there was no review. Instead, McCann NY asked for an opportunity to present ideas for the Romano’s Macaroni Grill business and Ignite gave a thumbs up, awarding Brick House strategy in the process.
Twas a busy day at camp McCann as the Worldgroup has made several promotions within its leadership ranks. Among those getting a bump-up are Michael McLaren, formerly MRM East president and global client solutions director, who has now been made president of MRM’s worldwide operations.
While we’re on the MRM front, Hank Summy, who joined McCann from Sapient in fall 2011 to serve as president, North America, will now serve as president, commerce at the former agency. Meanwhile, current MRM EVP/chief technology officer, North America Andy Jacobs (pictured) will add global responsibilities to his CTO role. Taking over as president at McCann New York will be one Chris Macdonald, most recently chief executive at the agency’s London office. Speaking of McCann London, while Macdonald crosses the pond, Rob Doubal and Laurence Thomson, who served as co-ECDs in said office, will be moving up the ladder to serve as co-presidents/chief creative officers. Get all that? Good.
While we’re on the McCann tip, forget about February 14. In Brazil, Ex-Valentine’s Day is April 18th. That means all those weepy single people will have another day to think about their lack of relationship success. For the recently broken-up, Ex-Valentine’s Day (a make-believe day concocted by the parties involved with this effort; Brazilian Valentine’s Day is actually June 12) is also a chance for catharsis (and presumably bad Portuguese chick flicks). The Salvation Army and Sao Paulo/Rio-based WMcCann want to jump in on the romantic purging, asking those who have mountains of useless junk from their exes still sitting around to donate.
With the tagline “Too bad it’s over. But since it’s over, donate,” you can practically feel the lack of sympathy in your bones. But, giving back after a breakup might turn the love karma in your favor. Probably not the most altruistic motives for donating to charity, but a resourceful (and potentially spiteful) way to recycle for those who are less fortunate. If your girlfriend left her favorite jeans in your apartment, you can give them away, and when she comes to reclaim her possessions, you can laugh in her face. Okay, I take back the love karma remark. This campaign will help reuse old goods, but it might actually be brilliantly sadistic. If love gods do exist, they might dislike you. Let’s hope Cupid has a good sense of humor.
The AdAge piece did note that McCann was the odds-on favorite to win the account for the AFFI, a trade/lobbying group of supermarket standards in aisle eight, nine, whatever including Nestle and…wait, where’s the Totino’s Party Pizza? As a result of the win, our sources in the know tell us that McCann, which would not officially comment on the matter (try getting a hold of the AFFI), will handle a national consumer campaign on behalf of the newly formed Frozen Food Roundtable that operates under the auspices of the AFFI.