IPG Set to Align Initiative Media Unit with Draft FCB

19 October 2006

NEW YORK: In the days when legendary adman Claude C Hopkins was honing his trade, ad agencies were foremostly commission-reliant media buyers who threw in a spot of copywriting and ad layout to entice the high rollers. Then the earth turned a spin or three and the intertwined crafts separated.

Now the pendulum might be starting its backswing.

Word from within the Interpublic Group bunker is that the ailing group's Initiative media-buying unit is likely to meld with its newly created sibling ad and marketing agency Draft FCB.

IPG's executive washrooms are also a-buzz that the move portends the dissolution of IPG Media, a holding division created by Interpublic last year to house all its media-oriented units - whose number also includes Magna Global and Universal McCann.

The plan under consideration would see Initiative ceo Alec Gerster reporting to Draft FCB chairman Howard Draft. Formerly, Gerster was responsible to IPGM chief executive Mark Rosenthal, whose current ill health has cast doubt on his future with IPG.

None of the above named returned calls made to them by the Wall Street Journal.

Data sourced from Wall Street Journal Online; additional content by WARC staff