NEW YORK: Emulating the drill-sergeant vernacular of the military, Interpublic Group chairman/ceo Michael J Roth on Friday ordered 'As you were' to his two main media regiments - Initiative and Universal McCann .

The command will see the two units reverting to their pre-October 2006 status when they operated under the umbrella of the Interpublic Media Group.

It is just thirteen months since the discrete media duo were instructed to march under the banner of the Interpublic Media Council - a moniker that supposedly suggested to impressionable clients that the word switch signified a less rigid operating structure than before.

Commanding the 'new' IMG is Universal McCann worldwide ceo Nick Brien. He is charged with leading a task force to develop strategy and tactics to ensure the efficiency of IPG's global media operations. This is likely to result in the consolidation of some senior management functions.

According to an staff memo from Roth the move is: "An internal initiative to improve collaboration and optimize our media assets in order to better fund Initiative and UM so as to enhance their competitiveness at a time of very rapid change in the media landscape."

The Roth memo adds that in some "limited number of markets," management functions might be consolidated. Thus, a single cfo or cio might oversee those functions within one or more agencies. Any resultant savings would be reinvested in the media shops, Roth promised.

Other IPG disciplines will also be asked to initiate efforts similar to Brien's. Says Roth: "As we look to 2008, we are asking companies across IPG with analogous business models to come up with ways to increase efficiencies."

Data sourced from multiple origins; additional content by WARC staff