Contender Drops Out of HSBC’s Global Review

Exit leaves 4 creative shops in the chase

McCann Erickson is out of HSBC’s global marketing services review, according to sources.

McCann was among a handful of global agencies that emerged as creative contenders in the review, which encompasses both creative and media responsibilities. The bank’s annual global media spending is estimated at $400 million.

McCann executives attended an HSBC briefing meeting last week but exited after parent company Interpublic Group replaced McCann Worldgroup CEO Nick Brien with Harris Diamond, said sources. The abrupt management change gave HSBC pause and triggered the split, a source said. 

Representatives for the agency and HSBC declined to comment.

McCann’s exit leaves four global shops vying for lead creative responsibilities on the brand: BBDO, Grey, Saatchi & Saatchi and the incumbent, JWT.

JWT and Grey are units of WPP Group, while BBDO and Saatchi are owned by Omnicom Group and Publicis Groupe, respectively. In most cases, the London office of each shop is leading the charge.

HSBC expects to complete the search, which is focused on operations and brand strategy, by March.