Universal McCann B


Billings, estimated revenue up 14% to $5.8 billion and $260 million, respectively. High productivity brings up grade. Includes Micro soft’s $400 million in billings won in late 1999, expansion of Sprint budget and $90 million Kohl’s win. Losses included $140 million Reckitt Benckiser. Resigned Boston Beer Co.’s $20-25 million account.


McCann-Erickson’s unbundled media planning and buying arm began life in 1999. Mark Stewart, evp and North American media director, spent last year putting up bricks and mortar. UM opened offices in Atlanta, New York and other markets, and Stewart declared to Adweek in August that “as Intel is to Gateway, UM will be to McCann or its allied agencies.” UM also recruited talent from within and outside the Interpublic Group of Cos. New York media director Sean Cunningham came from Lowe Lintas Partners. Jonathan Swallen, director of media services at Ogilvy & Mather, joined as head of UM’s media modeling arm, Universal Solutions. John Padgett, national media manager at Coca-Cola, came aboard to run UM’s Atlanta outpost.


As media director for the U.S., Stewart functions as head planner. Tapping the IPG talent pool to bring in the well-respected Cunningham adds management depth to the discipline.


Under the leadership of George Hayes, UM’s $1.2 billion spot group, LCI, is one of the premier local broadcast buyers in the country. McCann’s client roster, headlined by Coca-Cola, ensures that UM is always in the game in national broadcast as well.


Although it is a solid top-tier competitor, Universal McCann, like several of its media-agency peers, is viewed as unbundled but not really an autonomous operation. The shop still tends to get most of its business with and through its eponymous IPG sister. Stewart says a goal for UM in 2001 is to win business on its own.