McCann hires Malani for Coke bid

McCann-Erickson has rehired one of its former account executives to take worldwide control of its Coca-Cola account.

The appointment of Poran Malani as worldwide account director on Coca-Cola comes days after Coke’s chief marketing officer Sergio Zyman resigned.

Zyman, a former McCann-Erickson employee, has dismantled the agency’s grip on Coke’s creative business by employing a string of agencies in local markets over the past five years. Universal McCann retained Coke’s worldwide media buying and the account remains one of McCann’s three largest.

There is an expectation that Zyman’s replacement, Charles Frenette, may reduce the number of agencies on Coke’s roster. Employing Malani is seen by McCann as an attempt to win back some of the business lost in the past five years. He replaces James Nass.

Malani was seconded, from McCann, to work with Coke’s then global advertising director David Wheldon between 1995 and 1996. After returning from Coke’s headquarters in Atlanta, he set up his own consultancy. In his new position he will report directly to McCann’s Worldwide chairman John Dooner.

“There is no assumption that McCann will win back the business,” says one source, “but it stands a better chance now that Zyman has gone.”

News Analysis, page 24

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