Chris Mort ‘set to exit’ McCann Australia

Exit: Mort

McCann Worldgroup Australia is declining to comment on growing speculation that Chris Mort, the CEO and chairman of the organisation, is leaving.

Word of Mort’s departure have reached Mumbrella from more than one reliable source.

The news emerges as McCann prepares to announce sweeping changes to its Australian operation following its acquisition of Smart, revealed by Mumbrella last week. Parent company Interpublic is in the midst of dramatically reshaping its faltering Australian operations withLowe purchasing 303 although the agency continues to insist that a deal has not yet been done.  

Mort is expected to be replaced by Smart CEO Ben Lilley in what is effectively a reverse take-over.

Mumbrella understands that Smart Melbourne’s MD Simon Burrett will run the combined agency’s Melbourne operation, while Smart’s managing partner Ashley Farr will run the Sydney office.

Mort joined McCann six years ago from Singleton Ogilvy & Mather, where he spent 18 years.

The agency has struggled to make an impact on the market, and performed poorly in the recently published Mumbrella Creative Agency Review. McCann Sydney ranked 29th out of 30 agencies overall – and bottom for creativity and planning. McCann Melbourne did not feature in the survey at all.

Mort did not return Mumbrella’s calls. Lilley declined to comment. Charles Cadell, regional MD of McCann Southeast Asia and Australasia, to whom Mort reports, was unavailable for comment.


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