McCann shuffles the deckchairs as UK boss Chris Macdonald goes to New York

What does it take to be a successful boss of McCann in the UK?

Essentially, as captain of the ship, you repel boarders and maintain the agency’s status as the second-biggest in the UK (way behind Omnicom’s AMV/BBDO) even though you go through annual agonies about the creative work being shit and nobody liking you very much.

And that has been Chris Macdonald’s remit in the UK since he joined the agency in 2006 but now he’s on his way to be president of McCann New York. This may mean that he’s moving up in the organisation or just being quietly parked somewhere where he can be got rid of with little noise.

Account barons in New York don’t usually pay much attention to ex-pat Brit equivalents. And ‘president’ is one of those titles that sounds a lot but actually doesn’t mean much.

So it looks like yet more upheavals at McCann UK.

They’ve never really got it: what they need to do is hire a good account man/PR man to run it and a creative director from one of the big networks (BBDO or DDB) to whack out the usual stuff and some better stuff besides.

Global CCO Linus Karlsson is supposed to be doing the latter but one big account in New York is worth the whole £274m London bills; how can he do both jobs?

It’s hardly rocket science is it?

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About Stephen Foster

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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.