CM’s Chief Creative to McCann

Campbell Mithun has 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 top creative for the past three years, “becomes the creative conscience of General Mills” for the Inter public Group units, said agency CEO Les Mouser. Mc Cann handles General Mills overseas and CM does so domestically, with the joint effort dubbed “Team G.”

Hurst takes the new position of senior vice president, creative director of McCann-Erickson Europe/ Middle East/Asia on multinational clients on Sept. 1.

CM’s search for a top creative is in the early stages. “We’re evaluating it as we speak,” Mouser said.

Mouser declined to name candidates, but the shop is said to be looking at both internal and external possibilities.

CM has relied on McCann’s network for international General Mills business, which in cludes several cereal brands (such as those marketed internationally through a partnership with Nestlé), snack foods and Betty Crocker brands.

In the midst of ex panding its global presence, General Mills wants a more unified international marketing approach. Mouser said Hurst’s appointment is a response to that.

“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.”

For now, the CM/McCann partnership will be limited to work on General Mills, but Mouser said he is open to the possibility of ex panding it to other clients. “It’s based on having a need, and right now we don’t have one,” he said.

While Mouser offered no spe cifics, sources said CM and Mc Cann are working together to pitch ChevronTexaco’s $50 million consolidated global account.

General Mills’ other shops in clude Saatchi & Saatchi, as well as D’Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles and Leo Burnett, both of which handle General Mills’ acquired Pillsbury business.

Global billings on the business were not available, though General Mills is thought to be one of McCann WorldGroup’s top 10 ac counts. The company spent $630 million on domestic advertising last year, according to CMR. Brands handled domestically by CM accounted for about a third of that.