McCann Erickson - now generally know as simply McCann - has long served as one of the pillars of the UK advertising industry. Originally founded in 1927, McCann-Erickson London was the US agency's first international office, set up initially to handle international client Exxon, whose UK arm was the Esso petrol brand. More than 90 years later, the London office forms the hub not just of McCann Worldgroup's European network, but also of Britain's biggest regional advertising network. Nielsen (in Campaign) estimated billings of £371m in 2018. Yet despite its undoubted size and power, McCann London's creative output has been patchy in recent years. That resulted in a series of shake-ups of the creative department between 2010 and 2012. Rob Doubal and Laurence Thomson were eventually poached from Wieden & Kennedy London in 2012 to become co-chief creative officers, and quality has gradually improved. McCann remains the UK's second-largest agency after AMV BBDO, but the latter's lead has widened considerably since 2012 as a result of further erosion of McCann's billings. The main London office is also partnered by a separate standalone agency in Manchester and regional network McCann Central with offices in Birmingham, Bristol and Leeds. Sheryl Marjoram is CEO of McCann London; Karen Buchanan heads McCann Manchester. Mark Lund is chief executive of the wider McCann Worldgroup UK, which also houses local outposts of B2B agency McCann Enterprise and Weber Shandwick, Momentum, MRM, McCann Health, Futurebrand and the production division Craft. Although London tends to be regarded as the dominant office, the three main arms of the agency are comparatively evenly matched. McCann Erickson advertising Ltd is the legal entity of the London office. It reported revenue of £42m in 2018 and net profit of £3.1m. McCann Manchester Ltd added revenue of £32.7m and net profit of £2.8m, while McCann Erickson Central had revenue of £34.3m and net profit of £3.8m.
Capsule checked 4th November 2019
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Historical profile information for McCann UK
Adbrands Social Media 11th Jun 2019: "The Story Continues". McCann London delivers another powerful campaign to launch this year's Wimbledon tournament for the All-English Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club. (Funny how no one makes as much fuss about the croquet any more...) This year, McCann have gone for historical context, juxtaposing famous champions with the global events that took place the same year. "The story of Wimbledon began in 1877 and we've been making headlines ever since," says AELTC head of commercial & brand James Ralley. "Each tournament creates new heroes and new stories, while our greatest moments have shared the front page with two world wars, the moon landings and the invention of the internet." It's a nice piece of work, featuring some lovely graphic design.
Adbrands Social Media 24th May 2019: "Jack & The Beanstalk". Vauxhall Motors unveiled its first big pan-European campaign from new dedicated agency Velocity McCann. It's a big and bold idea: famous fairy tales told backwards to highlight the benefits of the Astra's reverse camera, and illustrated with top-notch CG. There are three tales so far; they're all good, but the other two (Cinderella, The Ugly Duckling) don't work quite as well in reverse. All three use different animators; London prodco Coffee & TV did Jack & The Beanstalk. So far these films have mainly been running on social media. However, a TV run is expected later in the year in the UK, and presumably the same concept will be adapted for sister brand Opel across Europe.
Adbrands Social Media 8th May 2019: "Did Somebody Say...?". McCann London's first global campaign for food delivery service Just Eat is still a distinctively British affair. It will be interesting to see how they will adapt it for Spain and Denmark, for example; apparently France, Italy and Switzerland will get different ads altogether. Australia's version is out already. It's more or less the same, but with a name-change to local brand Menulog; the couple is increased to four people (do couples not order takeaways in Australia?); and the Chinese meal turns into pizza. Global brand director Susan O'Brien says "It celebrates how we deliver not only food but the delight people feel when their favourite takeaway arrives, no matter where in the world they are. We've all experienced that moment of joy when the doorbell rings and your food arrives - our new 'Did somebody say Just Eat' mnemonic celebrates that perfectly." By way of passing in-joke, note that the wrestling match shown on the TV is between Thomson and Doubal, who also happen to be joint creative chiefs of McCann London.
Adbrands Social Media 25th Apr 2019: "Visit Xbox". A different kind of tourism ad here from McCann London, encouraging viewers to visit the magical lands to be found inside the new Xbox One X Enhanced console. It's a great idea; a welcome change of both style and pace from traditional gaming ads, which either usually offer gameplay or some live action movie-style sequence "inspired" by the game. This ad lets the graphics of the games and the console do all the talking, and the results are lovely to watch. Now all we need is a crib sheet so we known which landscape belong to what game; or you can check out the linked website for more details.
Adbrands Social Media 14th Feb 2019: "Less Rah. Get Real". Always nice to see pan-European manufacturers take the time and trouble to make dedicated ads for the UK market, rather than just re-purpose a regional Euro-pudding, with all the driving sequences flipped to get the steering wheel on the correct side of the car for British roads. Will that still be the case post-Brexit? Dedicated Opel/Vauxhall agency McCann Velocity just dropped this rather good spot for the Crosland X SUV, built around one of those everyday truths with which all parents are familiar. To Vauxhall's credit, this has long been one of its strengths, even at previous agencies. Its UK-made ads have always focused very strongly on the family angle. Still doesn't explain just how you're expected to get all that mud off the upholstery though.
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