Universal McCann hires Pelham to lead MasterCard account

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Barbara Pelham
Barbara Pelham

Interpublic Group (IPG) subsidiary Universal McCann has named Barbara Pelham EVP and global managing partner for the $500 million MasterCard account, effective September 8.

She will be responsible for “integrating” the IPG agencies on the account and “demonstrating as much leadership and added value as she can,” said Matt Kasindorf, EVP and managing director at Universal McCann. The IPG agencies on the MasterCard account include creative agency McCann-Erickson Worldwide, digital shop R/GA, and sports marketing firm Octagon.

Pelham will replace Kasindorf on the MasterCard account. Kasindorf said the firm needed “a more dedicated resource” to focus solely on the MasterCard business and that he will concentrate on the Exxon Mobil Corp., Brown-Forman Corp. and Dyson accounts instead.

Pelham previously served as executive group director at WPP Group digital agency OgilvyOne. She was also the WPP team lead for Bayer at Ogilvy Healthworld. 

Kasindorf said it is unclear how many employees are working on the MasterCard account, which the credit card company consolidated under Interpublic last September. MasterCard previously worked with Omnicom Group's GSD&M Idea City.

When asked why Universal McCann choose Pelham, Kasindorf said “she has worked with a couple of our team members who also joined us after previous stints at WPP agencies.” He declined to name those team members.

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