Universal McCann opens in Toronto

The new office, headed by Peter Mears, will handle brands with an international focus including Chrysler, Microsoft and MasterCard, with the help of seasoned execs Michael Bolt and Laura Maurice.

A new office from Interpublic Group launched this week that will separate some of M2 Universal’s clients according to whether they are international or local to Canada. Universal McCann Canada (UM) will handle international clients like Chrysler, Sony and Microsoft, while M2 Universal will handle Royal Bank, GM and CBC.

‘We’re really servicing two different types of businesses,’ Hugh Dow, chairman, Mediabrands Canada, tells MiC. ‘One is global clients that are networked across the UM system. The global business requires a knowledge of the international infrastructure and a knowledge of the policies and procedures that many of these companies put into place from a global perspective.’

The new office is in a different location from M2, and is home to about 60 employees – 15 of them new hires. They includes Michael Bolt, who made the jump from Mediacom, and Laura Maurice who moved from Starcom. The division will be headed by Peter Mears, who will move from his position at PHD London.

The launch has been in the works since the summer, says Dow, well before M2 won the Chrysler account in December. The new allocation will also benefit  domestic clients, who are major players in their categories, where decisions can be made without taking into account the global point of view. Dow says for M2, having two major competitors is in no way a conflict of interest.

‘These are competitive businesses, and we have totally separate operations with people [who] work only on either Chrysler or GM, and there’s no sharing of information or strategy. We adhere very strictly to confidentiality and the requirements of each advertiser,’ he says.