Farewell Alfred W Erickson, banished after 102 years to Advertising's Hall of Oblivion. Hail McCann WorldGroup (MWG), now unencumbered by the name of the agency with which it merged in 1930 -- and, perhaps, other more recent problems.

Parent company Interpublic Group this weekend announced a major rebranding of its flagship agency network. John Dooner, MWG chairman/ceo, says the new corporate identity is just one of a number of recent management initiatives.

Another arguably more significant measure is the introduction of "a next-generation integration model" developed in partnership with Harvard University and key WorldGroup clients.

Explains Dooner: "When McCann [-Erickson] WorldGroup was founded the goal of its marketing communications companies was to individually become best of class and for that reason it was important that each company have its own distinct identity and logo. That goal has largely been achieved. Each of the WorldGroup companies has grown to become a top-tier global organisation with a portfolio of highly regarded practice areas."

Within MWG, other businesses will also adopt the WorldGroup suffix and branding, the latter designed by IPG's FutureBrand. Among these are media network Universal McCann, direct marketing agency MRM Partners, sales promotion/sponsorship shop Momentum and Torre Lazur McCann (healthcare marketing).

"It is essential that our identity continues to maintain the integrity of the individual disciplines," insists Dooner. "But now our identity additionally needs to graphically link our capabilities and companies -- both to reflect the reality of how we now work together collaboratively to build client businesses and to underline McCann WorldGroup's position as one of the world's largest marketing communications companies."

MWG branding elements will be phased in over the next six weeks to include stationery, presentation materials and signage.

Observers see the revamp as a sign that the accounting and other problems recently besetting the quondam McCann-Erickson in Europe are duly consigned to the trashcan of history.

Data sourced from: BrandRepublic (UK); additional content by WARC staff