McCann Taps FCB Vet to Head Strategic Planning

McCann-Erickson evp and managing director Garry Neel said he’s wanted a top strategic planner at the agency since he took over three years ago.

After “dozens” of interviews, Neel said he found his man in Mark Lantz, who last week joined the Troy, Mich., agency as evp and director of strategic planning, a new position.

Lantz, 39, reports to Neel. He will be a member of the McCann Detroit management committee, with responsibility for strategic planning, research, consumer insight and business development. He will oversee a six-person planning group, already in place.

Prior to Lantz’s hiring, Eric Einhorn, evp and chief strategy officer at the McCann-Erickson World Group in New York, lent a hand on client strategy issues, primarily on General Motors and Buick. Einhorn will continue in an advisory capacity, but McCann needed someone in that role at the office, Neel said.

In addition to leading the strategic planning on all Detroit-based accounts, Lantz eventually will work with other McCann offices on global planning initiatives.

“But his focus will be on Detroit, certainly in the near term, just because of the amount of work on the GM corporate account,” Neel said. “It really demands alot of top thinking and full attention.”

Lantz will also work with McCann Detroit’s integrated marketing units, including MRM Partners, Momentum, FutureBrand, WeberShandwick Worldwide, Universal McCann and Jay Advertising.

He previously spent four years at FCB Worldwide in San Francisco, most recently as evp, director of planning. Lantz helped pitch and then worked on accounts including AT&T Wireless, CBS Market Watch, Microsoft Web TV and Taco Bell. He was also at Ogilvy & Mather in Chicago for two years.