McCann Tales with Diane Merklinger
Diane “Merk” Merklinger just celebrated 40 years (!) at McCann. She has seen and experienced a lot over the years, but by far the biggest change she has seen is the transition into the digital age. She even had to convert all her 3/4” videos into digital files just to keep archives for later use.
Merk started at McCann in 1977 as an account service assistant. Her favorite account to work on was the New York Racing Association because of the awesome perks -- free tickets to the horse races and meals at the fancy restaurants and concert tickets to events at the Saratoga Race Course and Belmont Park.
In the early 80’s, Merk began organizing middle management seminars at the agency. In 1984, she started working for Marcio Moreira, the head of the InterNational team and the Chief Creative Officer. Both of these roles involved a lot of work with teams outside of the New York office and gave her the opportunity to meet McCann employees from around the world. She then joined the “Creative Excellence Group” where she is currently the Networks Award Coordinator.
Over the years, Merk has had some great experiences -- and some not so great ones. For example, in 1979 when McCann lost the Miller Beer account (the second largest account after Coca-Cola), Merk had to pass on the news to the head of the NY office, Steve Norcia. She happened to be filling in for Norcia’s assistant the day the Miller client called with the bad news, so Merk had to serve as messenger.
One of Merk’s most memorable experiences was attending Cannes for the first time in 1994 and handing out invitations to the annual McCann party, which is still held to this day. She continued to attend Cannes for a number of years.
Merk says her 40 years at McCann have been, in a word, “great.” She is very happy she was able to make a lifelong career for herself here and would highly recommend it to others. She says, “accounts will come & go, but the people have always been good at McCann.”