McCann-Erickson Worldwide, New York, continued to serve as an incubator for leadership at parent Interpublic Group of Cos. Much like predecessor Phil Geier did, John J. Dooner Jr. moved from worldwide chairman-CEO at McCann to fill the same role at Interpublic. Jim Heekin was promoted from president-CEO of McCann-Erickson Worldwide to chairman-CEO of McCann-Erickson WorldGroup.
In other high-level personnel shifts, Gunnar Wilmot was promoted to global account director from general manager of McCann Detroit and Garry Neel became general manager of the Detroit office from head of McCann's European GM business. The former managing director of sibling agency Campbell-Ewald in Los Angeles, Ian McGregor, came on board as head of the Los Angeles office after Hank Wasiak moved on to serve as worldwide account director on Nestle.
McCann continued an acquisition roll in 2000 by purchasing Nationwide Advertising Services, a leading recruitment ad agency.
The giant agency landed equally significant clients last year, including Microsoft Corp.'s Xbox, retailer Kohl's Corp., the $300 million consolidation from Reckitt Benckiser and General Motors Corp.'s corporate account along with dot-com clients Upromise, Attorneys.com, QuokkaSports and Activate.net.
However, Exxon's fuels business, Hotjobs.com and Motorola exited McCann. The agency says its billings increased more than 15% in 2000 over 1999.
Creatively, MasterCard's ongoing "Priceless" campaign still stands as McCann's most noteworthy work, while newer campaigns failed to draw the attention of many awards committees.
Much-anticipated work for Xbox and new 2001 client Burger King Corp. is slated to break. The agency will expand into larger office space in midtown Manhattan. McCann also expects to play a major role in the global brand assignment Coca-Cola awarded to Interpublic.
Last year's rating: 4 and Agency of the Year honors