Investors in troubled advertising services group Interpublic voted overwhelmingly against selling the company at a meeting in New York on Monday.

The world's number three agency conglomerate, struggling with continuing losses, accounting problems and a related US Securities and Exchange Commission investigation, saw more than 87% of shareholders reject a proposal by Charles Miller that it should be auctioned off to the highest bidder.

The shareholders at the much anticipated gathering [WAMN: 25-Oct-05] also reappointed all eight board members standing for re-election and rehired outside auditor PricewaterhouseCoopers.

IPG, which owns agencies Foote Cone & Belding and McCann Erickson Worldwide among others, has seen its stock fall nearly 27% since the beginning of this year. Chairman/ceo Michael Roth says it is working on improving revenue growth and margins.

He adds: "When the company is in a turnaround is not the optimum time to put the company up for sale."

He acknowledges investors' frustration but interprets the outcome of the votes as "an indication that management is focused on a turnaround".

Data sourced from Adweek (USA); additional content by WARC staff