McCann’s Wilmot, Fitzpatrick Divide Global GM Account Duties

DETROIT-McCann-Erickson Worldwide is realigning its Troy, Mich., office to better meet the needs of its primary client here, General Motors.
Gunnar Wilmot has been named managing director. He moved from the Frankfurt office to Troy earlier this year and has been working with Sean Fitzpatrick, who is vice chairman-North America, in overseeing the GM work.
Fitzpatrick is relinquishing all responsibilities for the GM account in the U.S. and will concentrate solely on international issues, while Wilmot relinquishes international interests to focus on domestic GM business. McCann is the national agency for the Buick and GMC lines.
Fitzpatrick said he is pleased with the changes and the chance to focus on one area, albeit a large one. McCann services GM in over 70 different countries. He is headquartered in the Troy office, but will spend considerable time traveling.
“In Detroit, we need new blood, we need a whole new way of doing business,” Fitzpatrick said. “As far as I’m concerned, [Wilmot is] the best, and I think this is going to be a statement as to what we’re willing to do to make sure they’re getting the best.”
Dick Hill, the office’s former general manager, assumes a new role as executive vice president and director of professional development.
Other agency changes include disbanding the Total Communications department, formed about 18 months ago to focus on collateral projects for GM through a joint venture with Bronner Slosberg Humphrey, Boston. That venture never got off the ground, and those activities now are being handled by the individual account teams, Wilmot said.
Additionally, Joseph Capinigro has been hired as executive vice president and executive media director, bringing with him 15 years of media experience at BBDO, Southfield, Mich.
The agency returns to more traditional titles from those adopted 18 months ago. “Brand champion,” instead of managing director, and “brand leader,” instead of account director, were confusing and hindered recruitment efforts, Wilmot said.