UM Taps Pelham As EVP To Oversee MasterCard, Media Spend $500M Worldwide


Interpublic's Universal McCann has hired Barbara Pelham as executive vice president and global managing partner for the shop's MasterCard account, one of the agency's key clients.  

MasterCard consolidated its media assignment -- with estimated spending of more than $500 million worldwide -- with UM late last year. The move ended a decade-long relationship with GSD&M, the Omnicom agency, whose media arm Idea City had handled media duties on the U.S. portion of the account. UM already handled media chores outside the U.S.

Previously, Pelham was executive group director at OgilvyOne, part of the WPP Group. Earlier, she ran the Bayer Healthcare account at sibling agency Ogilvy Healthworld and led a consolidation of other portions of the client's account under WPP.

In her new role at UM, Pelham will oversee MasterCard's media efforts and will be responsible for collaborating with the other IPG shops that handle portions of the client's business, including lead creative agency McCann Erickson, digital shop RG/A, public relations firm Cohn & Wolfe, and Octagon, which handles sports marketing and partnerships for MasterCard.



Pelham replaces Matt Kasindorf, who had been working overtime handling MasterCard and several other major global accounts. Now he will be able to devote additional time to others, including Brown-Forman, ExxonMobil and Dyson.

In an internal memo, Jacki Kelley, worldwide CEO of UM, told staffers: "Barbara's experience is exciting not only for UM but for IPG as she has managed complex global clients across WPP's network. I am confident there is much we will learn from Barbara and, together with our IPG counterparts, can create a new approach to collaboration."

Pelham, who reports to Kelley, starts her new job in September.

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