'Divided We Stand', Insist IPG's Two UK Media Shops

11 September 2008

LONDON: Interpublic Group's two UK media agencies – Initiative and Universal McCann – are greater than the sum of their parts, insists the globe's third largest marketing services conglomerate.

Following Initiative's loss of its anchor £75 million ($131.6m; €93.87m) Orange media planning and buying account last week, the agency has been instructed to share offices with its sibling.

But there is no question of a merger, it seems.

According to Initiative's worldwide ceo Richard Beaven: "IPG has said from the outset that it is committed to building and strengthening its two media brands, Initiative and Universal McCann. This remains the case.

"We are undertaking restructuring across Initiative as part of an ongoing plan to ensure we have the right resources in place to meet future challenges and to succeed as our industry continues to transform."

Despite which Churchillian stance, rumour persists that another key Initiative account – that of supermarket titan Tesco – is heading in the direction of Sir Martin Sorrell's MediaCom.

Data sourced from Media Week (UK); additional content by WARC staff