It’s Official: McCann Prevails

NEW YORK Interpublic Group’s McCann Erickson has won creative chores on Weight Watchers’ estimated $70 million ad account.

Pile and Co., the Boston-based consultancy overseeing the search, today confirmed McCann’s victory, first reported yesterday by Adweek.com.

“We are thrilled to be working with the McCann team. Throughout the entire process we have been incredibly impressed by their passion for the brand, their insights into our consumer [target] and their sharp strategic thinking,” said Cheryl Callan, the client’s svp, marketing, North America, in a statement.

“This is a brand that truly makes people healthier and happier, which makes working with the brand especially gratifying,” said Brett Gosper, McCann’s U.S. president.

McCann and Omnicom Group’s DDB made final presentations to the client. IPG’s Deutsch withdrew from the process in March, according to Pile and Co.

BBDO decided late last week not to attend the final pitch when the agency learned its idea was too similar to McCann’s, which had already shared its ideas with the client in a pre-pitch meeting more than a week prior, sources said. The client gave BBDO the weekend to come up with a new idea but the agency decided not to go through with a final pitch, sources said.

A BBDO representative declined to comment, and Callan was unavailable for comment at press time.

WPP Group’s Young & Rubicam in New York was the three-year incumbent.

Client spending in U.S. measured media fell just short of $70 million last year, up nearly $20 million from 2005, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

The decision to hold a review was mainly motivated by client-side management changes, sources said.

CEO David Kirchoff, Callan and director of advertising Carl Swedberg all joined the New York-based company in the past year. They began the review in February.

This story updates and replaces an item posted yesterday with confirmation of McCann’s victory and additional details.