Global Advertising Overview

McCANN-ERICKSON WORLDWIDE in New York, the world's second-largest agency, is undertaking its most comprehensive reorganization in almost four decades.

The restructuring of McCann-Erickson, owned by the Interpublic Group of Companies, is intended to shine a spotlight on the increasing role played by marketing services outside the realm of general advertising like public relations, interactive communications and sales promotion. Six of the seven units of the revamped McCann-Erickson are devoted to producing sales pitches apart from traditional methods like print advertisements, commercials and billboards.

The importance being attached to the reorganization is underscored by a new name for the venerable agency: McCann-Erickson World Group.

The restructuring formalizes the results of a 16-month spree of acquiring agencies in fields identified as growth realms like event marketing, new media and corporate identity consulting, which had been grouped together to specialize in those tasks. Indeed, as McCann-Erickson executives outlined the changes on Friday, they also announced the purchase of four additional such agencies, with billings estimated at more than $300 million, bringing the total bought during the buying binge to 14.

''Marketers need multiple marketing communications tools to effect sales and those tools are needed on a global basis,'' said John J. Dooner Jr. Mr. Dooner, 49, who had been chairman and chief executive of McCann-Erickson Worldwide, becomes chairman and chief executive of McCann-Erickson World Group as well as of the unit devoted to general advertising, named McCann-Erickson Worldwide Advertising.

McCann-Erickson World Group, which handles blue-chip brands for marketers like the Coca-Cola Company, the General Motors Corporation, Nestle S.A. and Reckitt & Colman P.L.C., is expected to have billings this year of more than $11 billion. Services apart from traditional advertising will likely account for less than 15 percent of that total.

But by 2000, Mr. Dooner predicted, those services will account for a third of total billings.

Here is a look at the units and who will run them:

*McCann-Erickson Worldwide Advertising. This unit handles the traditional ad operations in 117 countries. Four regional directors report to Mr. Dooner: James Heekin, 48, North America; Marcio Moreira, 49, Asian-Pacific operations; Jens Olesen, 54, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Michael Sennott, 55, Europe, Africa and the Mideast.

*McCann Relationship Marketing Worldwide. Services include McCann Direct, for direct marketing, and ''loyalty marketing'' programs, which offer consumers perks for buying products. Stan Rapp, 70, is chairman and chief executive.

*Momentum Experiential Marketing Group. This unit, handling event and promotional marketing, is led by Mark Dowley, 32, chairman and chief executive.

*Diefenbach Elkins Brand Equity Group. This unit specializes in services like corporate and brand identity consulting. John Diefenbach, 60, is chairman and chief executive.

*Weber Public Relations Worldwide. This unit, offering public relations and financial communications, is headed by Larry Weber, 42, chairman and chief executive.

*Thunder House On-line Marketing Communications. Ira Carlin, 49, is chairman and chief executive of this unit for the digital domain.

*Torre Lazur McCann Health Care Worldwide. This unit, formerly McCann Health Care, handles communications for health-care products and services. Joe Torre, 52, is chairman and chief executive.

McCann-Erickson World Group will be managed by an operating board composed of Mr. Dooner, as chairman and chief executive of both the agency and the advertising unit; the four regional directors of the advertising unit; the chairmen and chief executives of the six other units, and two administrative executives: Sal LaGreca, 44, chief financial officer, and Art Tauder, 57, executive vice president for operations.

As for the agencies being acquired as the reorganization occurs, terms of the deals were not disclosed.

Two become part of Momentum Experiential Marketing Group. One is Louis London, a sales promotion agency with billings estimated at $90 million and offices in St. Louis, Milwaukee, Dallas and Raleigh, N.C. Mark Shapiro continues as president. The other is the Barnett Fletcher Promotions Company Ltd., an event marketing agency in London with billings estimated at $45 million to $50 million. Barnett Fletcher remains chairman of that shop, to be renamed BFP Momentum.

The third agency to be acquired, Complete Medical Group, will be part of Torre Lazur McCann. Complete Medical, based in Macclesfield, England, has billings estimated at $150 million. John Berry continues as president.

And the fourth, Rubin, Barney & Birger, a public relations agency in Miami with estimated billings of $27 million, will become part of Weber Public Relations under the name Weber/RBB. Bruce Rubin remains chairman and Christine Barney remains president.

McCann-Erickson was formed in 1930 by the merger of H. K. McCann, founded in 1912, and Erickson, started in 1902. In 1960, Marion Harper Jr., who headed what was then McCann-Erickson Inc., created what he called an ''agency of the future,'' which offered clients ''total marketing communications,'' by reorganizing the shop into four units; one, Communications Affiliates, specialized in services like public relations and sales promotion.

''We all think we're inventing the world,'' said Mr. Dooner, ''and the reality in some cases is that we're reinventing.''

''The vision Marion Harper had was a notion whose time had not come yet,'' he added. ''Today, the time has come.''