Obituary

Eugene 'Gene' Kummel, Former McCann CEO, Dead at 88

Adman Helped Agency Expand Its International Reach

By Published on .

Eugene H. "Gene" Kummel, former chairman, president and CEO of McCann Erickson Worldwide, died Saturday , June 25. He was 88.

As a member of the Advertising Hall of Fame , Mr. Kummel maintained an illustrious career in the advertising industry, which began in 1946 when he joined Warner -Lambert Co.

After two years at Warner -Lambert, he moved to the agency that would later become Norman Craig & Kummel, where he was principal and exec VP. In 1965, Mr. Kummel joined McCann Erickson as head of international operations. He became chairman-CEO of McCann Erickson Worldwide in 1973.

With a strong emphasis on global agency operations, Mr. Kummel expanded McCann's reach around the world as he led the development of a force of more than 100 international executives familiar with the McCann system and its worldwide clients. He referred to this concept as "transferable power." According to a company history, many of the agency's senior executives had worked in a least a half dozen countries by the end of the decade.

The global clients represented by McCann Erickson included General Motors, Coca-Cola, Exxon, Nestle, Unilever, L'Oreal, Johnson & Johnson, Gillette, Sony and American Home Products. Mr. Kummel, however, was also known for the close ties he developed with many CEOs of companies that did not operate on a global scale. Mr. Kummel was named chairman emeritus of McCann in 1987.

Mr. Kummel was also a chairman of the American Association of Advertising Agencies and chairman-CEO of the Advertising Educational Foundation. He was inducted into the American Advertising Federation Hall of Fame in 1988, and he received the AEF's Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008.

Mr. Kummel is survived by his wife of 56 years, Barbara, and their three sons, Charles, Andrew and William.

In this article:
Most Popular