SAN FRANCISCO - Last week's merger of McCann-Erickson and technology specialist Anderson & Lembke will create the first integrated online and offline agency in the McCann network, agency executives said.
McCann-Erickson/A&L will also be a testing ground. "This unique entity will be an experiment in how integrated strategies need to be evolved," said Don Dillon, president of McCann-Erickson North America.
In another twist, senior executives at the smaller shop, A&L, will take over the top management and creative roles: A&L chief executive officer Nick Bishop assumes that title at the merged shop, while A&L executive creative director Adam Kaufman gets the chief creative post.
"I came to San Francisco because I saw A&L as the [digital] integrated agency of the future," said Bishop, a longtime McCann employee who joined Anderson & Lembke in January.
Part of the San Francisco experiment involves McCann's New York office, which is providing creative and strategic oversight to the shop's largest client, Microsoft.
The merger was prompted by the agencies' joint win of Microsoft's $50-100 million Windows account last month [Adweek, May 31].
The new $335 million shop will serve two groups: high-tech clients that need consumer-style marketing, and consumer clients that need digital expertise, sources said.
The new management team also includes McCann executive group directors Penny Baldwin, Walter Menzel and Michael White. They will work with A&L managing director Betsy Sperry, group account director Tom Shymanski and digital communications director Glen Sheehan.
Ron Benza, McCann's six-year general manager, resigned.
McCann's staff will move to A&L's offices south of Market Street near San Francisco's Internet hub by Aug. 1.
- with Jane Irene Kelly