McCann Combines Detroit, L.A. Offices

Hires Chief Creative Officer, Hopes to Draw Higher-Level Talent

By Published on .

See update to this story below.

DETROIT (AdAge.com) -- McCann Erickson has a hard time getting high-level talent to move to its Detroit-area office, which handles General Motors Corp.'s retail work and Buick brand.
Garry Neel is combining two of McCann's offices to better attract creative talent.
Garry Neel is combining two of McCann's offices to better attract creative talent.

Garry Neel, CEO of McCann in Detroit, is combining his office with its Los Angeles counterpart and hiring Steve Levit in the new post of chief creative officer, to be based in Los Angeles. He also hopes the move will open up a bigger creative talent pool and help the Interpublic Group of Cos.' agency win new business.

"We wanted to hire a top creative talent; that's why we are basing the job in L.A.," said Mr. Neel, who will also oversee the Los Angeles office. "We can't get people to move here."

It's the same reason Mr. Neel cited when he opened a satellite office of seven creatives in New York a few years ago -- but that operation closed last year due to cost pressures.

Auto experience
Mr. Levit had been executive creative director at Richards Group on Hyundai Motor America's account for less than a year and gained auto experience on the Toyota and Lexus brands at Saatchi & Saatchi, Los Angeles, and Publicis Groupe sibling Team One Advertising, El Segundo, Calif. He will report directly to Mr. Neel and work on all accounts at the two McCann offices.

Ian McGregor remains exec VP-general manager of McCann, Los Angeles. David Moore will continue as executive creative director of the Detroit office "working on a number of important projects," said Mr. Neel, adding that an announcement that "will be good for Dave" will be made some time in the future.

Mr. Neel said McCann wasn't under any pressure from GM to shift creative to the West Coast.

Last September, McCann Detroit lost GM's corporate account to sibling Deutsch, Los Angeles, and McCann's Buick work has been panned by experts even though its vehicle lineup has improved.

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UPDATE: After this story was published, McCann on Jan. 30 said David Moore, executive creative director of McCann, Detroit, will be working with Jonathan Cranin, worldwide creative director for McCann Worldgroup, on multinational accounts, new business and Worldgroup assignments.
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