SAN FRANCISCO – The loss last week of the National Dairy Board account will likely accelerate changes at McCann-Erickson as evp/gm Ron Benza looks at how best to reshape the agency.
Benza said the NDB accounted for about $15 million in annual billings to McCann, just over 10% of the agency’s $146 million in billings. He expected to determine this week whether layoffs will be necessary. ‘Will this affect us? Sure. No doubt about it,’ Benza said. ‘Reengineering McCann, with or without milk, has been an issue.’
From the time Benza arrived in July to head the S.F. office, he knew the NDB would not be a long-term part of the client roster. The NDB had already decided to pool its resources with the Rosemont, Ill.-based United Dairy Industry Association, and even if McCann won the consolidated $50-million business, the shop planned to service it out of a new Chicago office. McCann had pitched creating a dedicated office made up of staff from S.F. and other McCann units, but it was a tough sell against firms already there, including D’Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, Leo Burnett, DDB Needham and the eventual winner, J. Walter Thompson.
Copyright Adweek L.P. (1993)