iShares Invests in McCann, MRM

McCann Erickson and MRM Worldwide in San Francisco have been chosen by iShares to handle advertising chores for the investment firm following a review led by Boston-based consultancy Pile + Co.

The shops, Interpublic Group siblings, will now work to produce an integrated push that fuses TV, print, radio and interactive elements (from McCann) and relationship marketing tactics via e-mail, direct mail and data analytics (via MRM).

The work launches early next year, with media duties handled by Mediaedge:cia, a unit of WPP Group.

Kevin Feldman, iShares marketing chief, said the agency selection was made based mainly on strategic insight and creative pedigree.

Robert LePlae, president of McCann Erickson North America, said: “This is a pivotal time for the financial services category, and we welcome the opportunity to apply our strategic thinking to an innovative brand with breakthrough products.”

McCann and MRM replace independent Venables, Bell & Partners and WPP’s Ogilvy & Mather, respectively.

iShares was recently purchased by BlackRock in San Francisco from Barclays Bank.

Ad spending so far this year was about $8 million after topping $13 million in 2008, per Nielsen. That figure is expected to increase substantially moving forward.

This is the first major McCann win since LePlae was named N.A. leader in July, and comes as the San Francisco offices ops have slumped somewhat, losing some key Microsoft business in recent months.