Despite a string of account losses, including GMC Trucks from General Motors Corp., McCann-Erickson Worldwide's U.S. machine landed $400 million in new billings last year, including two $100 million accounts -- MasterCard International and Motorola Corp. Also on board: Pearle Vision, the power tool division of client Black & Decker Corp., and additional Reckitt & Colman business via a consolidation. Note that McCann's first campaign for MasterCard celebrates an emotional payback any credit card could claim. But the ads, including one about a father who's happy to have the financial resources to take his son to a ballgame, are some of the most agreeable to come out of McCann since its Hilton campaign of 1996.
McCann is starting the year with a new president at McCann-Erickson North America, where Donald Dillon replaces Jim Heekin. On the new-business front, McCann is still on the prowl for a beer, retail and telecommunications account. It may get one or all, but its creative, though strong, still lacks an edge. The agency recently was the odd-man-out in a consolidation of AT&T Corp.'s business and is defending its Chase Manhattan Bank account as part of the bank's agency review.