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McCann Erickson Worldwide

Published on .

2004 Rating: 5 stars

The essence: Rocked during 2002 and `03 largely by financial and managerial issues, McCann in 2004 got back on track with Chairman-CEO John Dooner. He reinvigorated management with new hires; implemented "Demand Chain," an integration strategy; and set McCann and its units on an ambitious growth initiative.

Net growth : McCann kept a big account under the Interpublic Group of Cos. umbrella after Verizon Wireless, unhappy with sibling Lowe, put the business in review and McCann prevailed. Other big wins: Staples and U.S. creative for Pfizer's Viagra. McCann added Novartis, GlaxoSmithKline and Sony Corp. It lost Rubbermaid, Unilever's Vaseline Intensive Care, William Grant & Sons' Glenfiddich and Capital One. Some say Microsoft Corp. has issues.

management: Tight-knit McCann is tough on outsiders: Brett Gosper lasted only a year as New York office chief before bolting to rival TBWA last summer. But other changes are gelling: Demand for McCann's youth-focused TAG and HumanCare units is strong; both units are adding clients.

Creative quality and effectiveness: Retail and promotional campaigns for Verizon nicely balance the hard sell using humor and emphasizing product benefits. Aiming to keep Viagra top in the ED market, McCann's HumanCare created the devilish "He's Back" campaign in November. The FDA made a controversial call and told Pfizer to pull the campaign.

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