The newly named adjunct will include an increased budget for worldwide research, tools and training, the agency said.
While the grouping positions all McCann media under one umbrella, it also is a strategic move meant to more closely link media and creative.
"We wanted to make a point that the best advertising is a seamless integration of creative strategy and media strategy-strategy development includes both creative and media," said Ira Carlin, the exec VP-worldwide media director at McCann who now becomes chairman of Universal Media. "This is not separating out a media operation as some others have done."
The move fits with McCann Chairman-CEO John Dooner's vision. Uniting the Universal name with its media heritage and the McCann name with its creative legacy is a demonstration of the strategic link, he said.
The Universal McCann moniker has been used in the network's European offices since the 1970s.
During the past 10 years, Mr. Carlin said, McCann invested heavily in media departments under various names. But executives began to realize that one operation with disparate names is a disadvantage to the agency and its clients, he said.
Included in the new structure will be more money to create and roll out a variety of media tools and methodologies worldwide. One of the first will be "Media in Mind," a qualitative and quantitative study about how consumers relate to media and products in their lives.
In use in Europe since 1997, the methodology will now come to the U.S.
MODELING, ALLOCATION CHANGES
Other expansions include the agency's computer-based modeling programs and a media-neutral budget-allocation system.
Mr. Carlin will head a team that includes Bill Cella, director of broadcast and programming; Murray Dudgeon, worldwide operations director; Robin Kent, regional director-Europe/Africa/Middle East; Muirne Laffan, worldwide client director; Allen Medforth, regional director-Asia/Pacific; Oswald Mendez, regional director-Latin America/Caribbean; and Mark Stewart, regional director-North