Another blow for McCann as $200m Exxon creative moves to BBDO

After a year-long review Interpublic’s McCann Erickson has lost its foundation account Exxon Mobil, the world’s biggest oil company, to Omnicom’s BBDO although media agency Universal McCann retains its media business.

Other losers include Omnicom’s DDB which had handled the Exxon fuels business since 2000 and Euro RSCG which loses the corporate account. Exxon spends about $200m on advertising.

McCann was actually founded in 1912 by Harrison King McCann who had been head of the advertising department at John D Rockefeller’s Standard Oil. When this was broken up into the so-callled ‘seven sisters’ on monopoly grounds by the US government in 1911, the HK McCann ad agency took on Exxon in the US and Esso in the rest of the world.

McCann has had a rough time recently, losing the global Nestle account to Publicis, although it retained the $200m US Army account.

McCann Worldgroup boss Nick Brien says: “McCann Worldgroup remains a significant partner to ExxonMobil through MRM, Momentum and UM. We are proud of the enormous contributions McCann has made to this client and have great respect for the company and the people with whom we have been privileged to work.”

Omnicom’s BBDO seems to have become the ‘go to’ agency for global creative accounts. Along with WPP’s Ogilvy & Mather it recently scooped the $1bn SC Johnson creative account from Interpublic’s DraftFCB.

Interpublic has actually performed pretty well in financial terms recently with all revenue up 11 per cent in the third quarter of 2011. But it can’t afford to go on losing big accounts like Exxon, Nestle and SC Johnson.

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