Rupert Howell, the founder of advertising agency HHCL & Partners and former president of the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising, is poised to take the reins at advertising agency McCann-Erickson.
Howell – who has not yet signed his contract – will replace Ben Langdon, who was ousted from the Interpublic-owned agency last month (MW June 26).
Howell’s title will be president of McCann-Erickson for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and chairman of the UK group of companies.
The agency, one of the world’s largest, services a number of high-profile clients including Coca-Cola, Nestlé, General Motors and Unilever.
Howell left HHCL’s parent company Chime Communications, where he was chief executive, last year. Earlier this year, he started a consultancy with fellow HHCL & Partners founder Robin Price, and Piers Schmidt, founder of now-defunct marketing consultancy Fourth Room. The consultancy failed to find sufficient funding, and closed its doors at the beginning of June.
Two weeks ago, Howell admitted he was talking to four marketing services companies about various positions. It is understood that this week he narrowed his choice down to the role at McCann’s and another at an Omnicom agency.
Langdon’s departure from McCann-Erickson came after a spate of high-level redundancies resulting from a cost-cutting exercise. He has yet to resurface in another role.