Why It's Unlikely That Facebook Is Trying To Poach The CEO Of McCann-Erickson

mcann ceo nick brienMcCann CEO Nick Brien

Photo: CampaignAsia / Screengrab

Adscam blogger George Parker continues to push the rumour that McCann Erickson CEO Nick Brien is looking for a way to leave the agency. Parker’s most recent unsourced nugget is that Brien spent a lot of time with Facebook’s ad sales chief, Carolyn Everson, and its director of global creative solutions, Mark D’Arcy, while attending the Cannes Lions festival in June:… my sources tell me that while attending Cannes – with his whole family no less, wife, kids, friends of wife and kids – doubtless on McCann’s dime … He did seem to be spending an inordinate amount of time with recently created billionaire, Carolyn Everson and her kids. Unless you’ve been living in a cave, you will know that Everson is VP Global Marketing Sales at Facebook. The Brien’s also spent a fair amount of time with Mark D’Arcy, ‘creative director’ of Facebook and his wife.

Parker may have this backwards. McCann is a large client of Facebook’s, so it’s just as likely that Everson and D’Arcy were making nice with Brien as it is the other way around. McCann handles Chevrolet globally, and Facebook is in talks to bring Chevy parent General Motors‘ recently cancelled $10 million adspend back into the fold.

And, of course, McCann parent Interpublic Group is a large-ish stockholder in Facebook, so it’s natural for Everson and D’Arcy to be Brien’s gracious hosts.

There’s also the cost of buying Brien from McCann. As we’ve noted before, Brien is handsomely compensated by McCann (His annual compensation is $4.8 million, and his limo bill alone is $15,741 per year.)

And he has a severance package that IPG would presumably want to be compensated for in order to let him go. Depending on whether Brien’s exit is classified as “without good reason” or a “qualifying termination,” he will receive between $1.86 million or $4.24 million from IPG upon leaving.

Those sums are well within Facebook’s reach, of course. But if the social network really needed to add some agency talent to its ranks, there are more than enough younger and cheaper names on the market.

Disclosure: The author owns 30 shares of Facebook stock.


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