CB Exclusive: McCann promotes Australia's John Mescall to global executive director role

CJohn Mescall 2014-web.jpgB Exclusive - McCann today announced the promotion of Australia's John Mescall to the new role of global executive creative director.

Mescall is currently executive creative director of McCann Australia, a position he has held since October 2011. Mescall will relocate to New York in the coming months and join recently announced Global ECD's James Dawson-Hollis and Bill Wright as part of McCann Worldgroup Global Creative Chairman Rob Reilly's initiative to strengthen the agency's creative leadership.
 
 "John's all talent and no ego and he has helped lead McCann Australia to become one of the best agencies in the world. John now has the opportunity to magnify what he does on a global stage. I am certain that John's reputation for delivering stellar work will be a magnet for recruiting the best and brightest to McCann," said Reilly.
Under Mescall's leadership, McCann Australia has quickly become one of Australia's most dynamic and most awarded agencies. Prior to joining McCann, Mescall was partner and executive creative director of SMART (which was acquired by McCann Worldgroup in 2011), one of the most successful and progressive independent agencies in Australia.
 
415427-dumb-ways-to-die-thumb-400x225-106697-thumb-400x225-115919.jpgA writer and creative director, Mescall has won more than 30 Cannes Lions, including 5 Grand Prix for Metro Trains "Dumb Ways to Die" and in 2014 1 Grand Prix for Creative Effectiveness for V/Line.  His other awards include: Black and Yellow Pencils at D&AD, Best of Show at The One Show, and multiple Clio and Webby awards. Mescall's work has also been featured in TED's "Ads Worth Spreading" initiative, the only Australian work to ever be selected.
 
"It's a seriously exciting time at McCann," said Mescall. "The opportunity to work closely with Rob was just too big not to take, and we're very aligned on the kind of work we seek to do. He has a very ambitious agenda for the network and wants creativity to permeate everything we do. The move allows me to leverage my experience, and I look forward to playing a bigger role in our collective future."

Said Ben Lilley, chairman and CEO of McCann Australia; "We are ecstatic for John - and equally so for Pat and Dejan - and the fantastic opportunities this move creates for all three.

"It's a wonderful endorsement of the world-class creative output our entire Australian operation has been producing over the past two years. In Pat and Dejan we now have two of Australia's most awarded ECD's leading our creative output. And I am incredibly excited for what they will be able to achieve together and working with John in his global role."

McCann Australia has quickly become one of Australia's most dynamic and awarded agencies under the creative leadership of Mescall and Baron and with the recent addition of Rasic. The agency was most awarded in the world in 2013 with more than 200 trophies across 15 globally recognised campaigns, including Dumb Ways To Die for Metro Trains, Impossible Orchestra for the federal government, Guilt Trips for V/Line and the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation's 100-Day Challenge. Prior to joining McCann, Mescall was partner and executive creative director of SMART (which was acquired by McCann Worldgroup in 2011), one of the most successful and progressive independent agencies in Australia.

Baron and Rasic have collectively won more than 50 Cannes Lions, including 5 Grand Prix in 2013 and this week a further Grand Prix for Creative Effectiveness for V/Line. Other awards include: Black and Yellow Pencils at D&AD, Best of Show at The One Show, and multiple Clio and Webby awards. With Metro Trains Dumb Ways to Die also featured in TED's "Ads Worth Spreading" initiative, the only Australian work to ever be selected.

17 Comments

Hats off said:

Could not happen to a nicer guy. Deserves everything he gets.
Congrats. Justin C.

Hats off said:

Could not happen to a nicer guy. Deserves everything he gets.
Congrats. Justin C.

We'll done said:

Just reward for a great talent

Adam Ferrier said:

Congratulations John - great news.

Old CD Guy said:

I sense it will end in tears. I don't know John, but he strikes me as the sort of genuine, naturally talented, unaffected creative guy who will run into a massive brick wall in New York. That he managed to get a great campaign up at in an Australian McCann office is certainly a feat. I worked in one in the 13th century and one was always struggling against the forces of conservatism both within the agency and amongst its clients. I too scored a few hits in my day, but the victories are short-lived. I doubt that the corporate culture has changed too much since then. Key Point: The monolith that is McCanns is a business in which the making of advertising is an annoying nuisance which gets in the way of its true purpose - making money. Resistance to fresh, fun ideas is part of McCann Erikson's DNA. That is McCanns default position. 'Dumb Ways To Die' was a fluke - not in its inception because that's all credit to John and whoever else thought it up - but that it got through The System. John will find this out at his peril as they try to remake him in their own image. He will be a novelty act, paraded as some sort of Messiah - until it all falls over and he is fired for trying to change what can not be changed. How can I be so confident in making this bold prediction? It happened to me.

Another old McCann guy said:

What he said.

Don't do it if you like doing good ads.

Do it if you like talking about good ads.

@ Old CD Guy said:

Or, mate, you weren't good enough.

just interetsed said:

@oldCDguy

genuine question...

When did you last work at any of McCann's offices?

Dude said:

Old CD Guy, you may be right. You may be spot on. You may be a genius masquerading as a bitter old man.

But my God, you can be a downer sometimes.

Charles Richards said:

While we should have nothing but admiration for John's abilities, let's hope his survival skills are as honed as his creative ones.
Game of Thrones has nothing on the machinations of an advertising corporation.
One only has to remember most every brilliant Campaign Palace creative who went for the mainstream big chance (and big $$$) only to be wrung out and hung out to dry, then when dry enough, spontaneously combust into to freelance dust.
Illuminati such as Mather, Vaughan, Woollett, dare I say it, even Lionel in a less public configuration and so many others. Only Scott and Ted seemed to have survived, but at what creative cost.
Good luck, but gird your loins John and heed Old CD guy's prophesy.

Tim Berriman said:

Go Johny, Go!

Export said:

Here's the thing.

I'm sitting here and going through the Cannes winners. There's some good stuff. And then there's stuff, like the radio Grand Prix winners, that I'm not even sure I would have entered. It's just so derivative and ordinary. And it makes me want to drink a Red Bull. Pity it's not for Red Bull. Maybe that makes me out of touch. Dunno.

But it got me thinking about this career called advertising.

You work really, really hard, against all odds, and mostly against the clients you're doing the work for, to get something good up. Everything is an uphill battle. Everyone, from client service to client to media (especially media) tries their best to kill or dilute or change your idea. But, just occasionally, you manage to get it up. And you win. And it's glorious.

And right at the pinnacle, you get something truly astounding up, like Dumb Ways to Die. Universally adored. Just fucking magnificent work.

And you win. Everything.

And your prize is to become the global creative head-man of an advertising conglomerate.

Huge ego boost. Even bigger salary. Worldwide respect. You have arrived.

But what do you really get? Longer hours fighting more difficult battles. Politics and back biting. And a ticket to another country, where you're essentially alone.

Make no mistake, you're alone. I've done it more than once, and it's harder than anyone will ever care to admit. You lose your family and identity and the ability to just pop down the road and hang out with your friends. Your partner will hate it, after the initial gloss wears off. And your kids will struggle, even though they'll put on a brave face, because they're just kids and it's hard to fit in and their friends are suddenly all gone.

And that's the ultimate glittering prize? That's what you get for winning every award, and proving that you're a creative god amongst men. A ticket to a life that's going to be way more stressful and way less fun than the one you have now.

I wish John the very best of luck, and I hope it works out beautifully. But I think the whole system is irrevocably fucked.

@ Export said:

Fuck me, your glass is half empty. Here's how else it works.

You decide, at the top of your game, to back yourself and open an agency.

Local, national and international fame follows, along with huge cheques from huge clients who just want a bit of the magic to rub off.

Once your roster is enormous, you sell 49, 51 or 100% of your shop to some behemoth network who'll run it into the ground. But what do you care? You've got squillions of bucks and a car you can open with your watch (for example).

And if you're Sean Cummins, you even do it all over again.

Win!

@Export said:

I think you're saying what's the point of working so hard when all you get for it is more hard work.

I think you'll find that's life mate.

And if it's so bad over there, come back.

PLEASE PEOPLE said:

Can we please talk about the fact that Metro SOLD DUMB WAYS to Empire Life Insurance.

I can only imagine word getting out, and every other client going, "we can do that? holy shit. let's sell our platform idea and get some cash back."

This is a big deal. Why has no one noticed?

Pitch Doctor said:

Having seen a few guys do it as @Export says I decided to do it myself. A massive ego, a willie like a cashew, and a job at McCann's Sadly I wasn't successful, all the management guys had even smaller willies. Old CD Guy was the exception of course. Neither of us lasted

ocdg is right said:

Old CD guy, speaks the truth.

Anyone who thinks otherwise is naive.

But hell, the money will be good.

Top ten regrets of the dying, number 1: I wish I'd spent less time at work.

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