McCann Elevates 2

Nat Puccio and Suresh Nair, evps and co-directors of McCann-Erickson’s strategic planning department, have been promoted to U.S. posts.

Eric Keshin, the New York shop’s general manager, COO, who called the team “McCann’s secret weapon,” said they helped bring in more than $1 billion in new business and broadened the positioning of existing clients’ brands.

Nair, 42, two weeks ago became chief U.S. strategy officer for global accounts, while Puccio, 45, took the title of chief strategy officer, McCann-Erickson U.S. Both are new posts.

“They’ve developed a proprietary platform which allows them to nail the right strategic space for companies in every category,” Keshin said, noting that their Burger King positioning helped the agency land the $400 million account in December.

Keshin said they also expanded Avis’ “We try harder” positioning to boost the client from its rental-car niche to a company in “the transportation-solutions business.”

The New York-based pair will guide the strat egic planning of all McCann’s U.S. operations. The shop has about 75 planners in the U.S. Nair will also focus on strategy for internation ally based cli ents that need planning in the U.S.

Their duties had been handled by Eric Einhorn as part of his former post, director of strategic planning for North Amer ica outside New York. He was promoted earlier this year to director of marketing at parent company McCann-Erickson World Group.

Nair and Puccio joined McCann in 1994 and 1995, respectively, as senior planning directors. In 1997, they were tapped to co-direct the New York strategic planning depart ment.