McCann to buy London agency

McCann-Erickson UK Group is looking to acquire a London advertising agency to run as a separate brand, following the merging of the network’s UK advertising and marketing businesses into a single company.

Ben Langdon, chairman and chief executive of McCann UK Group, says: “I’m looking at acquiring a second London advertising agency within a year.”

Langdon says the new agency would be run as a separate company in order to deal with potential account conflicts resulting from the merger of McCann’s businesses.

He also intends to buy database and telemarketing businesses and last week acquired point-of-purchase marketing agency NDI Display.

NDI becomes part of Momentum – McCann’s worldwide events, sampling and point-of-purchase business – and will be renamed NDI Momentum. The company’s client list includes Cadbury, Boots and One 2 One.

The restructure of McCann’s separately-run businesses to form a single company with one profit and revenue centre unites 900 employees across advertising agencies in London, Manchester, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Belfast, Bristol and Windsor. It links up communications and marketing companies such as Shandwick PR, Momentum and McCann Relationship Marketing.

Advertising account teams will be trained to offer services from other parts of the group, but each company will retain its speciality focus. Langdon says clients will benefit from McCann’s ability to produce cheaper print, for example, in Manchester than in London.

McCann Manchester chief executive Brian Child becomes UK group chief operating officer.

The move mirrors the development of the McCann WorldGroup, established two years ago, spanning the network’s operations in 127 countries.

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