McCann Erickson, the venerable Madison Avenue giant whose longtime motto is "Truth Well Told," is telling its truth a little shorter these days: The agency is almost done with a rebranding that all but axes the "Erickson" name from its brand.
The rebranding started a year ago, according to spokesperson Jeremy Miller, and has been rolled out in pieces with little fanfare. New employees' business cards feature only the McCann name, not the full McCann Erickson moniker. (McCann is a unit of Interpublic Group.)
McCann's web sites, Facebook page, and Twitter accounts have been similarly truncated. "We are still McCann Erickson, the new branding shorthand is McCann," Miller says. "But we are still McCann Erickson. In a way it follows what Ogilvy & Mather did with Ogilvy." The full "Erickson" name will be reserved for "longhand" uses, Miller says. (It's only mentioned twice in IPG's most recent new business report, for instance, and both mentions refer to obscure foreign units of the shop.)
Ogilvy frequently brands itself without its historic "Mather" back-end.
Name-shortening is a trend in the agency world. J. Walter Thompson became JWT a few years ago. Young & Rubicam almost always styles itself Y&R. And Crispin Porter + Bogusky hasn't bothered to spell out CP+B in its materials for months.
For the record, the agency began life as The Erickson Company in 1902. The The H.K. McCann Company was founded in 1911. McCann merged with Erickson in 1930. Founder Alfred W. Erickson lived from 1870 to 1936; Harrison King McCann lived from 1880 to 1962.
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