Interpublic’s Restructuring Gathers Pace

11 July 2001

The re-engineering of Interpublic Group, first signalled over a month ago [WAMN: 30-May-01] gathered pace yesterday with details of the group’s new structure, effectively a discrete quartet with each segment offering a complete range of marketing services: traditional advertising, media planning/buying, direct marketing, e-commerce and promotional services.

The core quartet comprises Interpublic’s newly created network, The Partnership (led by IPG vice-chair David Bell), McCann-Erickson WorldGroup (existing chair/ceo Jim Heekin retains his roles), FCB Group (headed by chairman/ceo Brendan Ryan) and Advanced Marketing Services (formerly Allied Communications Group and remaining under the baton of chair/ceo Larry Weber).

Key units of The Partnership are Lowe Lintas & Partners as the group's anchor network; Draft Worldwide, Golin/Harris International, Initiative Media and Deutsch. Each is headed as senior partner respectively by Jerry Judge, Howard Draft, Rich Jernstedt, Lou Schultz, and Donny Deutsch with Michael Sennott, until recently worldwide deputy chairman of Lowe Lintas.

Some onlookers have expressed surprise at the absence of a named role for Frank Lowe, worldwide chairman of Lowe Lintas and ceo of sports marketing agency Octagon. In a statement, Interpublic ceo John Dooner said cryptically that Lowe would be “contributing to The Partnership overall via his commitment to and passion for the creative product.”

Dooner also denied that the restructure had been triggered by IPG’s recent acquisition of True North Communications: “Even before the … acquisition, we were rapidly moving in this direction, which is why adding True North made so much strategic sense to us. Now with the addition of their companies, we have expanded our leadership positions in many key diversified marketing communications areas.”

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