McCann lures Lund from Now to try to revive London

9B8CD26B-E69C-37CD-DB7A961D4A560226DLKW founder, and former boss of the UK government’s advertising service the COI, Mark Lund (left) is leaving the agency he helped to found after the COI to join McCann as group CEO.

Lund founded agency Now with creative director John Townshend, Melissa Robertson and Kate Waters. Now, which recently moved to new Soho offices, has also hired planner Ben Stewart as planning director, Dave Towers as head of design and Melanie Portelli as marketing director.

Lund says: “Doing it at DLKW is on one thing. Doing it a second time around is less novel. That first bit of a start-up where everything is absolutely life and death is over. The agency is on a good trajectory. I’m needed less now.

“McCann in the US is on a huge roll winning lots of new business. The most recent was Microsoft. The UK has got brilliant companies in London, Manchester and Birmingham. With all of that we can put together a fantastically strong collaborative offering. My job will be about taking those strong parts and making it bigger.”

McCann Worldgroup’s new boss Luca Lindner says: “Mark understands the complexities of our business today and has a grasp of the challenges facing brands looking to connect with consumers in the marketplace.

“His extensive leadership both in business and in government communications provides him with a valuable perspective on how best to leverage all of our multiplatform disciplines to benefit our clients and drive integration across all of our agencies.”

All of which is doubtless true. But McCann in London, despite its consistent second place in the Campaign/Nielsen billings table, is a bit smoke and mirrors. The Birrmingham and Manchester offices, which somehow get included in the figures, are at least as big.

Now may well succeed without Lund. It has missed out on a few big pitches and was intended to start with the Waitrose account until a key creative defected to JWT.

Let’s hope so. London start-ups have struggled recently to get purchase without network backing. And it’s about time McCann London became a proper ad agency again.

If anyone can do it it may be the straight-dealing Lund.

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