Strategy boss Lee Daley’s extraordinary resignation letter reveals client crisis at McCann

And that’s just one of them, he seems to have been enduring an ongoing crisis with McCann Worldgroup boss Nick Brien too (one of the recipients of McCann strategy boss Lee Daley’s letter).

Here are two excerpts, taken from Ad Age.

“This period at McCann has certainly been a very interesting time and the momentous challenges we have faced on L’Oreal, GM/Opel and Nestle have been unprecedented, coming as they have in crisis form almost nonstop for the past two and a half years. It has been a scrap of heavyweight proportions. I hope I have helped the company at least survive in order to build for the longer term on these critical businesses. It has been hellishly taxing and tough at times, but I am convinced that with all you are doing, you will rebuild and replenish these critical accounts and enjoy great prosperity from them in the future.”

With reference to Brien himself Daley says he has:

“worked with and for some big personalities: (John) Dooner (Brien’s predecessor), Sir Martin (Sorrell), Maurice Levy, Kevin Roberts, Andy Berlin, Sir Alex Ferguson et al, and you are certainly up there with them in terms of energy. Whether I see you or not in the immediate next term, I wish you continued good luck and success on the great vessel that is McCann.”

Daley, one-time CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi in London and commercial director of Manchester United, only rejoined McCann a year ago as part of Brien’s turnaround team at McCann Worldgroup.

It’s pretty clear that it’s been a tough time in the client trenches with L’Oreal, GM/Opel and Nestle (all giant spenders) and also with Brien personally.

Praising someone for their demonic energy is hardly a compliment and it doesn’t look as though Daley and Brien will be meeting for a friendly beer any time soon.

Brien will no doubt be claiming that Daley (a nice guy) just couldn’t stand the heat and that he (Brien) is making the changes the agency needs.

As for Daley, with a list of previous bosses like that the poor bloke surely deserves a break.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.