Joyce King Thomas Not Leaving McCann Yet

Clients Such as MasterCard Have Asked That Creative Chief Stay On as Consultant

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NEW YORK ( -- Joyce King Thomas, the chief creative officer of Interpublic Group of Cos.' McCann Erickson, New York, won't be saying goodbye to the agency as quickly as originally planned, according to executives familiar with the situation.

Joyce King Thomas
Joyce King Thomas
As part of sweeping changes in top management initiated under new McCann Worldgroup CEO Nick Brien, Ms. Thomas was slated to leave McCann effective this month. But now, at the request of clients such as MasterCard -- whose long-running "Priceless" campaign she helped create -- she will stay on at the agency in a consulting role, at least through the end of the year. In addition to MasterCard, she is said to be lending a hand with Weight Watchers as well.

Although her tenure has been extended, that move doesn't affect a creative search McCann has been conducting for the past few months for her replacement, executives say.

Discussions with potential candidates are ongoing, but those familiar with the situation say there is a short list of top creatives who have had advanced discussions with McCann about the role. Among them is Duncan Milner, a longtime creative at Omnicom Group's TBWA and current chief creative officer of TBWA Media Arts Lab, the unit that was built to service Apple. Mr. Milner, a TBWA alum since 1990 who has clocked time in San Francisco, Toronto, St. Louis, New York and Los Angeles while working on accounts for Nissan and Pedigree, was upgraded to the post last October by creative legend Lee Clow, who remains chairman and global director of Media Arts Lab.

McCann declined to comment, but a TBWA spokesman told Ad Age that Mr. Milner is "not going anywhere."

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