Pool Is Latest Exec to Reject Unbundling

NEW YORK — MindShare president of operations Jean Pool left the WPP Group shop last week to join Interpublic Group’s Universal McCann as evp/director of operations because she is disenchanted with unbundled media, she said. It’s an opinion increasingly voiced by media executives-and the dissatisfaction has benefited UM the most.

“I prefer media not being so drastically separated from ad agencies,” said Pool, 54, who spent the bulk of her career-25 years-bundled at J. Walter Thompson before moving to MindShare two years ago.

While it is hard to quantify the anti-unbundling backlash, UM is using its link to sibling McCann-Erickson as a selling point. In the past year, the shop has hired a string of media stars, including top buyer Annette Cerbone (from OMD) and client services exec Kim Kadlec (from Zenith Media). UM has won $1.7 billion in new business, including Sony and Maytag on its own and Wendy’s and Clearasil with McCann.

In Pool, UM is getting a well-known name who is “very management-savvy and very good at forming client relationships,” said media consultant Steve Soldano. “She’s going to be able to pull in clients, without question.”

Pool grew up in Dearborn, Mich., where her ambitions did not extend beyond secretarial work. “But, to be quite honest, I couldn’t pass the damn typing test,” she said. At JWT in Detroit, her interview was disrupted when someone had a heart attack, and the test was forgotten. Eventually she was promoted and transferred to the media department.

Pool worked on Ford at JWT; UM handles about $500 million in General Motors spot broadcast billings, Kent said. Her initial task is to run UM’s local broadcast operation, LCI, which has $1.9 billion in billings.