Mithun is officially no more as of today.
The organization formerly known as Campbell Mithun will become McCann Minneapolis, effective immediately, as the IPG organization consolidates Mithun, Compass Point Media and the General Mills team into a single unit.
CEO Rob Buchner and CCO David Carter (ex-BBDO New York) have also been fired along with an unspecified number of staffers.
Moving forward, the new entity will be run by a team consisting of McCann EVP/account director John Campbell, EVP/MD Melissa Schoenke (hired last May to run Compass Point) and CFO Scott Savarese. All will report to McCann Worldgroup president Luca Lindner.
McCann’s statement casts this news as the natural conclusion in an alignment of resources that began with the shared General Mills account:
McCann Worldgroup today announced that it is consolidating its resources in Minneapolis, (Mithun, McCann Worldgroup’s Minneapolis-based General Mills account team and Compass Point Media) and branding the agency McCann Minneapolis.
The rebranding formalizes the closer working relationship between McCann and Mithun that has evolved in connection with growth and integration of the shared General Mills business. Initially as Campbell Mithun, the Minneapolis agency became part of the Interpublic Group 20 years ago and then began operating soon after as an independently branded North American unit within McCann Worldgroup.
The change will more efficiently align resources and leverage McCann Worldgroup’s integrated creative and strategic capabilities across the U.S. to deliver results for our clients. McCann Minneapolis will report to McCann Worldgroup President, Luca Lindner. As part of the consolidation the agency has adjusted leadership and staff in the market.
We have enormous respect for the heritage and accomplishments of the Mithun agency. However, the opportunity to connect the Minneapolis operation more closely to McCann and our integrated disciplines is the best way to meet the needs of our clients in the region.
Regarding Buchner and Carter, an agency spokesperson writes:
Rob Buchner and David Carter have decided to leave the agency. We thank them for all they have done for Mithun, and wish them much personal success.
That’s definitely not what our tipsters say.
Multiple sources tell us that the reason for the not-quite-hostile takeover was Mithun’s inability to win new creative business. The shop lost several major accounts (including Land O’ Lakes, which went to Martin after 80 years) over the past year-plus, and all of its recent wins were on the media side.
Several rounds of layoffs hit the Minneapolis office last fall, and we hear that clients began to raise concerns about a perceived lack of engagement among agency leadership before–as one source tells it–“10 HR people” arrived at Mithun today to announce the news.