McNally, Former Lowe Executive, Joins AmEx

Nancy McNally, former general manager of Lowe Lintas & Partners, has taken a senior marketing post at American Ex-press. She reports to John Hayes, a former colleague from their days at Lowe & Partners/SMS and Ammirati Puris Lintas.

McNally’s fo-cus is on credit cards, travel and financial services as svp, global advertising and brand management, a new position, a company representative said. As such, she will interact regularly with AmEx roster shops, including lead agency Ogilvy & Mather.

“I’m going to be working with one of the best agencies in the world, and a number of the best agencies in the world,” said McNally, 45, who mulled several job offers be-fore landing at AmEx in New York two weeks ago. As she put it: “There were so many interesting things. But this is American Express.”

McNally left Lowe Lintas in New York in April, six months after its merger with APL. At APL, she was executive director, account services and steered management of the shop’s Burger King business. (That $400 million account, which Lowe Lintas inherited, is now in review.)

Hayes remains evp of global ad-vertising and brand management—a role that has grown since he left Lowe Lintas for AmEx in 1994. “This has gotten bigger and bigger,” Mc-Nally said. “[The new position] is just adding another set of eyes and ears.”

Ogilvy’s most recent TV effort, which broke last month, features characters with pixilated faces to illustrate the security of using AmEx to shop on the Web. Two spots end with a tweaked version of a classic tagline: “Don’t leave homepages without it.”

Through June, media spending on the brand was up 10 percent—to about $195 million—from the same period in 1999, according to Competitive Media Reporting.