IPG Media Saga: Fact Supplants Speculation

20 October 2006

NEW YORK: "What's in a name? That which we call a rose / By any other word would smell as sweet," wrote Shakespeare. Despite which Interpublic Group has renamed its Interpublic Media unit as Interpublic Media Council, the additional word apparently signifying a less rigid operating structure than before.

The Council is chaired by IPG evp strategy and corporate relations Phillippe Krakowsky, other members being Bill Cella, vice chairman of DraftFCB and chairman of Magna; McCann Worldgroup chairman John Dooner; UM global ceo Nick Brien; Initiative global ceo Alec Gerster; and Steve Gatfield, IPG evp strategy and network operations.

Former Interpublic Media ceo Mark Rosenthal, due to leave shortly for reasons of ill health, will remain for a transitional period before moving on. IM will disband by the end of October with some dedicated staffers transferring to the Council and a "small number of executives" laid-off.

In addition a new and discrete entity - the Futures Marketing Group - will oversee IPG's specialty and digital practices and report to the IMC. The members of this unit have yet to be announced.

Interpublic chairman/ceo Michael Roth delivered an opaque eulogy: "[IMC] puts us at the forefront of the trends toward start-to-finish multichannel solutions and also addresses the increasingly important digital space."

Meantime, back in the real world, Magna will continue to be the primary negotiating arm for media purchases, working with Initiative, Universal McCann and other IPG media units.

Data sourced from AdWeek (USA); additional content by WARC staff