Interpublic Buys Out of British Grand Prix Contract

21 April 2004

Global agency giant Interpublic Group has parted with a cool $93 million (€78.59m; £52.29m) to escape from the strategic and financial morass of running Britain's premier motor racing event, the Formula One Grand Prix.

The race is staged annually at the decrepit Silverstone circuit -- the long overdue (and costly) renovation of which was Interpublic's responsibility.

Meanwhile, diminutive billionaire Bernie Ecclestone, who as boss of Formula One Administration dominates the top echelon of global motor sport, is laughing all the way to the bank.

IPG's annual report, posted in March, revealed its contractual commitment to F1 was due to run until 2015 -- a liability that would have cost the New York-headquartered company some $460 million over the next eleven years.

With the F1 burden finally off Interpublic's back, a sigh of relief escaped the lips of ceo David Bell: "From the point at which I was asked to lead this company, I have made it clear that it is inappropriate for us to be involved in owning or operating venue-based motor sports businesses. We are pleased to have moved closer to completing our exit from the motor sports business."

Data sourced from:; additional content by WARC staff