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UM Hires EVP for New Planning Unit

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NEW YORK Universal McCann has hired Margaret Lewis as an evp to build and lead its U.S. communications planning practice. She fills a new position at the shop.

Lewis, 43, joins UM, a unit of Interpublic Group, from WPP Group's Mediaedge:cia, where she was director of communications planning.

She will report to UM U.S. president Mary Gerzema, and work closely with Wayne Fletcher, who UM hired in January as global head of communications planning.

"This appointment is one of the most significant I will make as I shape the UM organization across the U.S.," Gerzema said in a statement, noting that clients demand and agencies must deliver "breakthrough marketing communications solutions."

Lewis, who had been with MEC for six years, was a key member of the agency's team that crafted client AT&T Wireless' sponsorship of American Idol, the first time that branded text messaging was integrated into a TV show in the U.S.

In her new role, Lewis said she would evaluate "any kind of touch point," where consumers might come into contact with client's brands. "We'll evaluate all those touch points based on client key objectives and insights about their business and consumers," she said.

Lewis spent the first 14 years of her career at Ketchum Advertising and Warwick Baker O'Neill, before joining Lowe & Partners in 1999.