McCann poised for major project

Jacques Duval hints McCann-Erickson will make a major announcement this month concerning a hush-hush project that is expected to revitalize the agency.Duval says that when the announcement is made, the strategy behind his appointment early last month as area manager of...

Jacques Duval hints McCann-Erickson will make a major announcement this month concerning a hush-hush project that is expected to revitalize the agency.

Duval says that when the announcement is made, the strategy behind his appointment early last month as area manager of McCann-Erickson Canada will be clear.

In addition to his new role, Duval continues as chairman and chief executive officer of Quebec-based Marketel/McCann-Erickson and has also taken on the title of executive vice-president of McCann-Erickson North America, reporting to John Fitzgerald, the New York-based vice-chairman of McCann-Erickson North America.

In this new position, Duval is responsible for encouraging the McCann-Erickson family of agencies to work together, including McCann-Erickson Advertising of Canada (Toronto, Vancouver), Marketel/McCann-Erickson (Montreal, Quebec City), Foster Advertising (Toronto) and Harrod & Mirlin (Toronto.)

Duval’s ‘home agency,’ Marketel in Montreal, is also spearheading the Canadian side of McCann Interactive, a new service unit recently formed by McCann-Erickson Worldwide in New York.

The division, which will co-ordinate and build on the interactive tv projects now under way at agencies in the group, is headed by McCann-Erickson’s director of international media, Ron Pullem. Pullem has been named senior vice-president and managing director of the division.

Five McCann-Erickson offices in the u.s. and Marketel are working on interactive tv projects.

Alain Tardy, Marketel vice-president media services, says the Montreal agency is a natural to be involved with McCann Interactive because of its close proximity to Montreal-based Videotron, marketer and developer of the Videoway interactive system.

Three years ago, McCann-Erickson worked on a test project with Videotron and Coca-Cola, which allowed viewers to select commercials and enter contests using an in-house device during a televised concert by Quebec pop singer Celine Dion.

Tardy says this test was primarily for research and development, rather than marketing purposes.