McCann Puts Out Call to Find More Talent for Coke

NEW YORK — McCann-Erickson has launched a search for a creative director to work on Coca-Cola, said sources, who described the position as an integral role in servicing the Interpublic Group client.

With multiple IPG shops now working on Coke Classic-including McCann, whose duties are global, Carmichael Lynch in Minneapolis and The Martin Agency in Richmond, Va.-sources indicated that McCann was seeking a single creative leader to oversee its efforts. (At Martin, creative director Mike Hughes fulfills that role, while at Carmichael Lynch, it’s chief creative officer Jack Supple.)

Currently, McCann relies on several creative leaders, principally New York creative chief Nina DiSesa. In the past, Jonathan Cranin, chief creative officer for North America, has played that role.

One executive approached about the New York-based position was told that it was North American in scope and involves reporting to Cranin.

Other sources indicated that McCann was still contemplating whether to fill the post from within.

A representative for the New York shop declined comment.

The search, said to be in the “early stages,” comes as IPG agencies work on a follow-up to their Winter Olympics effort-four TV spots, including two that depicted Olympic athletes and new executions in the ongoing Polar Bear campaign. One Olympic-themed spot, which featured a Russian athlete getting a lift from an American trucker, was created by Carmichael Lynch. The others were from McCann.

The new job takes on added significance, given IPG’s broad relationship with Coke and the desire of rival WPP to expand its Coke business. WPP’s Ogilvy & Mather landed global duties on Sprite and Fanta during a Coke brand realignment last fall.

Regardless of who fills the role, it’s likely to be a challenge. “That client is high-maintenance,” said one source, adding, “You’ve got to have somebody who’s good and can put up with that.”