A tribute to Neil Rodgers, group account director at McCann Erickson Central, who passed away in his sleep on Monday.
Neil, who was from Wolverhampton, had worked in McCanns’ advertising division since 1997 and, prior to that, at Campaign Concepts. He specialised in all things automotive, heading up campaigns for names such as Lotus, Mercedes Benz and HR Owen.
He was a true old school ad man who set about building lasting relationships with his clients and was known for his legendary approach to client entertaining! He was a motorsport fanatic, involved with everything from grassroots karting to avidly following F1, and became the resident car expert at Communications House, helping colleagues select, source and even drive their cars.
After being diagnosed with inoperable cancer, in true Neil-style he set about doing something positive to raise money for Marie Curie Cancer Care. Together with three members of the McCann team, he devised a gruelling ‘7-5-1’ feat, to travel through seven countries, in five days, for one good cause and on Harley-Davidson motorcycles. The ‘rebels with a cause’ raised more than £13,000 last summer for Marie Curie Cancer Care to help to build a new hospice in Solihull.
Dean Lovett, CEO at McCann Erickson who worked with Neil for over fifteen years, said: “Neil was a giant of a man and a friend to everybody that knew him and will be sorely missed by friends, colleagues and clients alike. He was one of life’s givers and asked for nothing in return. Over the coming weeks we will all come to realise what a hole has been left by his passing. Our thoughts are with his wife Linda and family at this time.”
McCanns has built and named a bar in the agency after Neil and staff will be raising a glass or two in the ‘Rodgers Return’.