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Search Is On to Replace CM Head Creative

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CHICAGO -- Campbell Mithun last week launched a search for a chief creative to replace John Hurst, who is joining McCann-Erickson WorldGroup in London to oversee worldwide creative for General Mills.

Hurst, a 12-year veteran of the Minneapolis shop and its chief creative officer for the past three years, "becomes the creative conscience of General Mills" for the Interpublic Group units, said CM CEO Les Mouser. McCann handles General Mills overseas, and CM handles the business domestically.

Hurst takes the new position of svp, creative director on multinational accounts for Europe/Middle East/ Asia on Sept. 1. Mouser declined to name any candidates to replace Hurst, but the shop is said to be looking both internally and externally.

General Mills is in the midst of expanding its global presence and wants a more unified international marketing approach. Mouser said Hurst's appointment is partly a response to that.

CM has long relied on McCann's network for its international needs, including its General Mills business, which includes several cereal brands (including those marketed internationally through a partnership with Nestle), snack foods and Betty Crocker brands.

"We've already been working back and forth on this; this was a way to tie it all together," Mouser said. "It's setting a precedent for Campbell Mithun and McCann to operate as a single unit."

CM and McCann are working together to pitch Chevron-Texaco's $50 million consolidated global account, sources said.

General Mills global billings figures were not available, though it is considered one of McCann's top 10 accounts. The company spent $630 million on U.S. advertising in 2001, according to CMR. CM handles about a third of that business.