2001 Rating: 3 stars
Long the proverbial jewel in Interpublic Group of Cos.' crown, McCann-Erickson Worldwide saw its shine dull somewhat in 2002 mostly due to matters tangential to making ads. Among the issues that kept the agency in the (often unflattering) media spotlight: accounting screwups in Western Europe and the resulting departure of longtime Chief Financial Officer Sal La Greca, and uncertainty over McCann CEO Jim Heekin's fate. Adding to McCann's woes were revenue nose-dives at promotional shop Momentum and branding outfit FutureBrand, which led to layoffs at both. Troubles persist with McCann client Coca-Cola Co., but the agency continues to build its ties with such global marketers as L'Oreal, MasterCard International and Microsoft Corp. McCann performed well with new-business wins, with about $500 million in net new billings. It won business from fast-feeder Wendy's International, Major League Baseball and Advanced Micro Devices.
No tears will be shed at the agency or at Coke when Coke Classic splits from McCann in 2003. CEO Heekin will hang in and right McCann's ship. And through collaboration with sibling McCann-Erickson WorldGroup agencies, like Universal McCann's Entertainment Group, McCann will pioneer branded entertainment projects for clients.