McCann Launches XBC, Welcomes King Thomas Back to the Fold

By Kiran Aditham 

Perhaps absence really does make the heart grow fonder. After two-and-a-half years away from McCann, the place where she spent 16 years of her career and last served as CCO of the New York office, Joyce King Thomas has returned to the agency to take on a new role as president of McCann XBC (or “ExtraBoldCondensed”–sorta like a hair care product). The new, peculiarly titled unit will focus on McCann’s MasterCard biz and thus King Thomas should feel right at home considering she co-created the “Priceless” campaign for the brand some 15 years ago while at the agency.

McCann XBC (thank heavens there’s no “Team” moniker) will work in tandem with all other IPG agencies currently serving MasterCard in 112 markets including  R/GA, Octagon, UM and MRM. Along with King Thomas, the new division’s leadership includes Richard O’Leary, currently global account director for MasterCard, who will serve as managing director, and Devika Bulchandani, who will assume the title of global strategy director.

Newly installed McCann Worldgroup CEO/chairman Harris Diamond says of the returning King Thomas, who will take on her new role in January, “I am excited that Joyce will be leading McCann XBC. Her ideas, creativity and strategic understanding of the MasterCard brand are unparalleled.”


In between her two stints at McCann, King Thomas served as a creative consultant, traveled to India, worked on efforts including the Passion Project and most recently worked as a partner at long-form journo site, Longreads.