Interpublic Restates 2001 Accounts to Tune of $181.3m

10 December 2002

In a bid to put behind it the parade of financial snafus that have bedevilled the globe’s second largest agency holding company, Interpublic Group has filed a restatement of its accounts for 2001.

The formal filing confirms that IPG is taking charges totalling $181.3 million (€179.61m; £114.71m) for the period 1996 through June 2001.These relate primarily to accounting flaws in the European operations of its McCann-Erickson WorldGroup network. The nature of these flaws in still under informal investigation by the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

Says an IPG statement: “As a result of the reviews undertaken, the company is in the process of terminating certain employees, implementing other personnel changes and strengthening certain control processes in order to prevent the situations leading to the restatement from recurring.”

Among those already terminated is McCann’s former chief financial officer and vice chairman Salvatore LaGreca who recently departed citing plans to take early retirement at the age of 49.

Interpublic ceo John J Dooner, himself a former McCann honcho, has not been terminated despite his recent public banquet of humble pie and purple prose: “I was at McCann during some of these events, and, you know, I have to tell you that that keeps me or makes me more embarrassed and more humbled, and I think, also, therefore more resolved that this would never happen again” [WAMN: 20-Nov-02].

Data sourced from: BrandRepublic (UK); additional content by WARC staff