Goodness knows what legendary Mad Men Harry McCann, Marion Harper and Phil Geier would make of it but McCann Erickson, the slightly tarnished jewel in the Interpublic crown, has hired Andreas Dahlqvist as ECD and vice chairman of McCann New York, working with global creative boss Linus Karlsson, another Swede.
Dahlqvist (pictured) moves from the creative top spot at DDB Stockholm and Karlsson, who was recruited by McCann Worldgroup boss Nick Brien (not a Swede but a Brit) from Mother New York, told Ad Age: “Me and Andreas starting talking when I came on board in February. What he’s done at DDB Stockholm is unbelievable. On a personal level I’ve always hired people with good hearts, and we want to build a culture. One of his talents is that people around him want to work with him and Andreas has a way of getting the best out of people.”
Karlsson denies he’s on a Swedish-only recruiting drive. But just two weeks ago he hired Farfar agency founder Matias Palm-Jensen as chief innovation officer for Europe.
“I’m not looking only at Sweden, I’m looking at the best people wherever they come from. I’m looking at this globally and I want to have the strongest possible creative collective in North America and in Europe out of London.”
Dahlqvist helped to set up Swedish agencies The Bearded Lady and Paradiset before joining DDB and one of his attractions seems to be his digital knowledge.
As such the hiring makes perfect sense although it will makes waves at Mad Men epitome McCann.
But Karlsson and boss Brien will also have noted the recent departure of Lars Bastholm, another celebrated Swede, from the CCO job at Ogilvy & Mather New York. Bastholm quit after two years, saying he missed the “entrepreneurial” side of life.
In other words he couldn’t stand the place.
They probably also noted that O&M handles Swedish mega-retailer Ikea.